Even though the extra daylight makes me think it’s getting warmer, we are actually in the middle of winter. There’s a long time to go before spring and I really appreciate the abundant harvest left from last year’s hard work: potatoes, onions, carrots, nuts, and apples, to name a few. Pickling and preserving, together with my dried herbs and spices, mean I can cook-up a variety of tasty dishes throughout these cold months. Here is my favourite warming soup recipe using organic home-grown ingredients from the garden. The amount of chilli flakes can be adjusted to your taste preferences. Chilli speeds up the metabolism and assists detoxing so start with a pinch and gradually increase with each batch you make.
Carrot & Parsnip Soup
1 tbsp oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
400g / 1 lb of carrots and parsnips, peeled and finely chopped
1 ½ litres vegetable stock (cornflour, parsley, thyme and sage, paprika, salt and pepper)
½ tsp sugar
1 tbsp coriander, chopped (dry leaves are fine)
½ tsp of dried chilli flakes
Salt & pepper
To serve: cream & parsley
In a large saucepan, heat the oil and gently fry onion until going clear. Add carrots and parsnips and fry for 5 minutes. Meanwhile make up your stock. Add 1 litre of this with sugar to the pan and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until carrots are just going soft.
When cooled slightly, blend in batches and return to the pan with the rest of the stock, adding coriander, chilli flakes (optional) and seasoning. Bring back to boil then reduce heat and serve with a swirl of locally produced organic cream. Garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley (assuming you brought the plant inside before the snow!). Fresh baked bread is always my choice for accompaniment.