Curried Parsnip and Potato Soup with Lemon

In these weird times, it was two wrinkled parsnips withering at the bottom of the fridge that inspired this recipe, a make-do but really delicious version of Jane Grigson’s Curried Parsnip Soup (also in my recipe index). It is very lightly curried using (stale) curry powder, adding double the weight of potato to parsnip, an onion and couple of cloves of garlic. I used chicken stock but vegetable or beef stock (as called for in JG’s original recipe), even water, work very well. Parsnips can be very sweet, specially old ones, so a goodly squeeze of lemon and plenty of salt was needed. Half a cup of milk rather than the cream in the original recipe will soften the flavours and scraps of crisp bacon or chorizo are a great addition, but so is a separately soft-poached egg per serving.

Serves 4

Prep: 20 min

Cook: 35 min

1 onion

40g butter

1 tsp vegetable oil

400g parsnip

2 garlic

3 potatoes, approx 500g

1 heaped tsp curry powder

1 heaped tsp flour

1 litre chicken stock


Halve, peel and finely chop the onion and stir in 40g butter melted in 1 tsp veg oil in a spacious, lidded pan over a medium-low heat. Stir occasionally and peel and chop the parsnip and garlic. Peel, chop and rinse the potatoes. Stir parsnip, garlic and potato into the softening onion with a generous pinch salt. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. Stir in curry powder and flour, stirring until taken up by the buttery veg. Add half the stock, increase the heat and bring to simmer, stirring as the liquid thickens. Add remaining stock and establish a steady simmer. Half cover the pan and cook for about 20 minutes until the veg are very tender. Blitz in batches, return to the pan and season to taste with salt and lemon juice, adding extra water if too thick.