Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | FOOD & WINE -

SERVES: 4, or 6 as a starter


4 large ripe pears; 4 small to medium parsnips; 2 tbsp but­ter or olive oil; 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock, prefer­ably home-made; salt and pep­per, to taste (see note); 4 tbsp thick cream (op­tional); 60g blue vein cheese (op­tional); 1 cup crou­tons, to serve; 2 tbsp chopped fresh pars­ley, to serve


NOTE: If you use bought stock, taste be­fore adding any sea­son­ing. Com­mer­cial stock is of­ten high in salt – try to avoid the small tubs of con­cen­trated stock.

Peel pears and parsnips and cut into large chunks.

Heat but­ter or oil gen­tly in a large sau­cepan and add pears and parsnips. Re­duce heat and saute for 15 min­utes un­til golden brown and fra­grant.

Add stock and bring to the boil. Cover, re­duce heat and sim­mer for 15–20 min­utes.

Puree batches in a blen­der or food pro­ces­sor un­til smooth. Re­turn to sau­cepan and re­heat. Sea­son to taste. Pour into bowls and stir in a dol­lop of cream, if de­sired, or crum­ble blue cheese into the cen­tre of the bowls.

Serve im­me­di­ately sprin­kled with crou­tons and chopped pars­ley, or with chunks of good crusty sour­dough or cia­batta on the side.

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