A firm favourite with the guests at the hostel, especially on the days when my manager, in his infinite wisdom, has forgotten to order us any veg and I’m stuck with whatever I can make out of the odds and ends that are left in the fridge. A simple soup, with very few ingredients, that you can leave to cook on its own whilst you do other things. Also very handy for using up any parsnips or apples that are nearing the end of their ‘shelf-life’. The end result is a creamy soup that doesn’t have an over-bearing flavour, an unlikely combination of root veg & fruit that works well together.

Just one quick note, I usually end up putting far more pepper in than salt when seasoning, it brings out a much richer and creamer concoction. Don’t be afraid to experiment to find the balance that you prefer.

Serves 4-6
Prep time: 5minutes
Cooking time: 25-35 minutes

You will need the following;

 1 onion, medium sized, chopped
 25g of butter (or margarine if you’re desperate)
 2 medium sized parsnips, topped and tailed, and thinly sliced (peeling optional1)
 1 good-sized cooking apple, de-cored and chopped
 A teaspoon’s worth of freshly chopped parsley
 ½ tspn of mixed herbs (or 50/50 thyme and basil)
 1 pint of GOOD vegetable stock 2
 1 pint of milk3
 Seasoning

Optional extras
Thickening - If you want to thicken the soup, add either a corn flour/water mix after blending and heat
gently, stirring occasionally. (Remember to re-season after adding).
Alternatively, added part-cooked potato at step 2 also works.

1) Chop the vegetables and apple, and fry in the butter until onion is transparent.
2) Add the herbs and stock, bring to the boil, cover and simmer a low heat for approx 20-30minutes. (You're looking for the parsnips to be cooked)
3) Allow to cool, and the milk, stirring as you pour. Blend until creamy. (If adding cornflour mix, add here)
4) Sit back, relax, and enjoy

1 : I quite often don’t bother to peel my parsnips, mainly because I’m far to lazy, and it wastes valuble time I don’t have that much of when I’m try to get 30-odd three course meals out in time. If you decide not to peel your parsnips, the end result will be a shade or two darker, but tastes exactly the same.
2) I refuse to use ‘ready-made’ powdered stock or bouillon unless I have too. If you have to time to make your own stock, then please use that instead. Trust me, the end result is so much better.
3) Just a quick note, if you are reheating the soup after its turned cold, simmer it gently. If you end up boiling it, the milk will split. Common sense (to me anyway, but I thought I’d add it anyhow)

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