Curried Parsnip Soup

Use a fresh, good quality curry powder for this soup and not one that has been stuck at the back of the cupboard for the last six months (or more).

25-50 g/1-2oz unsalted butter or olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 parsnips, chopped
1 potato, diced
2 tsp. medium curry powder
900 ml/1 ½ pints chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper
150ml/5 fl oz double cream (optional for those who use dairy)
Fresh chives, to garnish

Melt the butter or oil in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until just beginning to soften. Add the parsnips and potato, turn to coat in the butter, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Stir the curry powder into the vegetables and cook for another minute or so, stirring. Pour in the stock, season generously and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer for 40 minutes, or until the parsnips are tender and the soup has thickened.

Leave the soup to cool a little, then puree in batches in a food processor or with a hand-held blender. To serve, stir in the cream, and gently reheat. Or, just as deliciously, serve without the cream, and garnish with chives.

From 100 Great Soups, by Orla Broderick