Curra­binny Cook­book Parsnip and Fen­nel Soup

In this soup the nat­u­ral sweet­ness of parsnip com­bines beau­ti­fully with the del­i­cate aniseed flavour of fen­nel. The re­sult is smooth, vel­vety and very el­e­gant.

Irish Examiner - Weekend - - Food -

Serves 4–6

1 4 medium-sized medium-sized onion parsnips 2 large fen­nel bulbs, stalks re­moved 1 stick of cel­ery 15g fresh flat-leaf pars­ley 70g but­ter sea salt and freshly ground black pep­per 1½ litres veg­etable stock 200ml milk To serve: fresh cream fresh fen­nel fronds

Peel the onion and parsnips. Chop finely, to­gether with the fen­nel bulbs and cel­ery, to roughly the same size dice. Roughly chop the pars­ley leaves. Melt the but­ter in a large pot or casse­role dish. Add the onion, parsnips, fen­nel and cel­ery, and sea­son well with salt and pep­per. Stir so that ev­ery­thing in the pot is well coated in the but­ter.

Con­struct a car­touche by cut­ting a cir­cle of grease­proof pa­per which per­fectly cov­ers the in­side of your pot. Press this down on the veg­eta­bles, seal­ing them in to cook. Put the lid on the pot and cook for around 10 min­utes on a gen­tle heat. Check and stir at least once to make sure noth­ing is catch­ing on the bot­tom.

Mean­while, in an­other pot, heat up your veg­etable stock un­til it comes to the boil. This will shorten the cook­ing time con­sid­er­ably.

When it’s boil­ing, re­move the car­touche from the other pot and pour your hot stock over the veg­eta­bles, stir­ring the con­tents to make sure noth­ing is stuck to the bot­tom.

Sim­mer on a medium heat for around 20 min­utes un­til the veg­eta­bles are com­pletely soft and ten­der.

Add the milk and pars­ley, and blend with a stick blender un­til com­pletely smooth and creamy.

Check the sea­son­ing and serve with a swirl of cream and some fen­nel fronds sprin­kled on top of each bowl. From the Curra­binny Cook­book, by James Ka­vanagh & Wil­liam Mur­ray. Pub­lished by Pen­guin Ire­land.

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