I've been following the
The basic idea is to choose a recipe book, turn to a page and random, and you MUST make this recipe. Not quite sure what the consequences are for cheaters, but I assume they are dire! I excitedly turned to my 'New Soup Bible' which I used in my first ever blog post over a year ago! Bless. I had my fingers crossed for a warming thick Autumnal soup when I flicked through and randomly opened it on page 62: Spiced Parsnip Soup with Naan Croutons. Jackpot! And I didn't even cheat!
I love parsnips and teaming them with my favourite herb, cumin, was really tempting! I'd probably make a parsnip soup on any old weekend without a fuss, but what a fantastic idea to also add the traditional sides and condiments of a curry. I had a lot of the ingredients to hand, so after a quick scurry to the shops for some parsnips and naan bread I was raring to go. Here's the recipe as it was in the cookbook.
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 small green chilli, seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp grated ginger
5 large parsnips, diced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp mango chutney
1.2 litres water
juice of 1 lime
salt and ground black pepper
Natural yoghurt and mango chutney, to serve
For the croutons:
1 large naan
1. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the onion has softened. Add the parsnips and cook for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle in the cumin seeds, coriander and turmeric and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
2. Add the chutney and the water. Season well and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until the parsnips are soft.
3. Cool the soup slightly, then blend until smooth. Stir in the lime juice. (This is where I had to add some extra boiling water as the soup was far too gloopy for my taste, as can be seen in the picture)
4. For the croutons dice the naan, heat the oil in a frying pan and cook until golden all over. Remove from the heat and drain off any excess oil. Add the sesame seeds and return to the heat for 30 seconds, until the seeds are golden.
5. Ladle the soup into bowls. Add a little yogurt and top with mango chutney and naan croutons.
The soup itself wasn't overly exciting but hit the spot. I went a bit mad with the cumin which although complimented the parsnips really well, did mean the soup didn't really taste of much else. However, what really made this dish was the various toppings; what a revelation! The croutons were tasty little morsels of crunch, the yoghurt added a contrasting creamy taste to the deep earthy spice of the cumin, and the mango chutney really lifted the whole thing to a new level. I'm not usually a massive fan of the stuff and rarely choose it, but its tangy flavour went really well here and I found myself adding a couple more dollops when I ran out!
I really enjoyed this challenge; having the dilemma of recipe choosing taken away from me is something I'd like to do more often and will hopefully lead to some exciting new taste experiences that I wouldn't usually do. I think I've started off very safe here but the result was an enjoyable soup that I'd probably make myself, with some finishing touches that transformed it into a meal that I'd even consider swapping my weekly (bi-weekly? tri-weekly??) curry for!