Spiced Parsnip Soup with Chorizo Crisps

In Merrilees Parker's wholesome soup, the sweetness of parsnips is offset with full-flavoured spices - serve with a plenty of crusty bread
By Merrilees Parker
Spiced Parsnip Soup with Chorizo Crisps
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-5
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the spice paste

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp harissa, available from Moroccan speciality stores
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped

For the soup

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 parsnips, diced
  • 900 ml chicken stock
  • 150 ml milk
  • 80 g chorizo, sliced
  • coriander leaves, to garnish
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. Place the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds in a small heavy-based pan and toast for a few minutes until they give off a nutty, aromatic whiff. Leave on one side to cool for a few minutes.

2. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the spices to a fine powder before transferring them to a food processor and adding the ginger, garlic, harissa paste and onion. Blend to a velvety smooth puree.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, heavy-based pan and fry the paste, stirring all the time, for 3-4 minutes, until it starts to colour.

4. Add the parsnips and cook for another minute. Pour in the stock and season generously. Bring to the boil before turning the heat down to a simmer. Cook the soup for 20-25 minutes, until the parsnips are tender.

5. Add the milk and reheat. Puree the soup, in batches, in a food processor or liquidiser - you could also use an electric stick blender. Add a dash more milk if the soup is too thick.

6. Just before serving, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the chorizo slices until really crisp, turning occasionally. Drain the slices on kitchen paper, reserving the oil in the frying pan.

7. Reheat the soup and ladle into 4 soup bowls. Divide the crisp chorizo slices between each bowl and drizzle over the reserved oil from the pan. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

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