Parsnips pair very well with apples. That earthy sweetness you get from the root vegetable is lifted nicely by the piquancy of apples – especially if you use cooking apples or a sharper green variety like Granny Smiths. I’m trying to keep the salt content of my soups as low as possible so using horseradish seemed like a perfect solution to ‘season’ this soup. Hot, spicy and peppery you just need a little to add a twist to the soup that will have those consuming it trying to guess what has made it special.
If I lived in the country I’d be making this soup with my own cooking apples, but here in London, it can be harder to get hold of them – so I’ve used up the remaining Granny Smith apples from making a stuffing. Parsnips are cheap to buy, even here, and they keep very well in a hessian sack stored somewhere cool (in my case, under the stairs). That means this soup is one I can make all through winter, even when I don’t want to go out shopping for fresh veg.
This weekend I found fresh horseradish at my local Farmers’ Market and bought a tiny piece. I have to confess I’m hoping that I’ll be able to root what is left and grow my own because it can be ridiculously expensive. But, if you can’t find the fresh root or prefer not to pay exorbitant prices for it., a small jar of horseradish sauce can be kept in the fridge and all you need is a teaspoonful to help this soup along a bit.
As there’s no dairy content, this soup will freeze particularly well, though in my case I don’t ever seem to have leftovers.
Parsnip, Apple and Horseradish Soup
- Pressure Cooker (optional)
- 1 dessert spoon poultry fat or olive oil if you are preparing for veggie or vegan diners
- 1 ltr homemade stock I use chicken, but obviously you would use vegetable stock if preparing for vegetarians
- 2 medium parsnips peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 medium brown onion peeled and diced roughly
- 1 large potato peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 large cooking apple or two smaller green eating apples - peeled cored and cut into 1 in chunks
- 1 inch piece of horseradish root about the thickness of your little finger, grated finely
- fresh parsley and creme fraiche to serve
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Melt the poultry fat in a large pot or in an electric pressure cooker
- Add the onions and cook over medium heat till they soften. I use the sautee setting in my electric pressure cooker for this.
- Add the parsnips and potatoes and cook for about 8 minutes till the edges start to brown
- Add the apple, horseradish and stock. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook at medium pressure for 30 minutes or on a hob for 45 minutes. Don't overseason at this stage.
- Use a hand blender to liquidise into a smooth puree. Add water if the mixture is too thick - you want something no denser than heavy or double cream.
- Adjust the seasoning to taste
- Serve garnished with a teaspoon of creme fraiche and a scattering of fresh parsley for each bowl.
Want to save this recipe to make it later? Why not pin it!
Looking for something different? try my recipe for broccoli, stilton and celery soup