Carrot & Parsnip Soup

The beautiful pumpkin sourdough bread you see in this picture is from Pollen bakery in Manchester. I spent the day after my birthday in the city centre last weekend and popped into Pollen for lunch. We shared a pizza topped focaccia and a slice of egg custard tart and they were both so perfect that I bought some rye bread and some sourdough to take home. I’ve tried making sourdough a few times and failed miserably so it’s good to know where I can get the best. Pollen itself actually has a kickstarter appeal to raise £45,000 to start a second bakery specialising in pastries. I signed up to a day’s patisserie course so I’m really hoping they make the target. Of course, I needed to make the most out of this beautiful bread so I made a carrot and parsnip soup that I saw on the BBC Good Food website.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 2 onions
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 small bunch thyme
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 large parsnips
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 100ml double cream
  • 1/4 bunch parsley
  • salt & pepper

Method

1.) Peel the onions and chop up

2.) Heat some oil in a large casserole dish and add the onion. Chop up the celery and add that.

3.) Pull the leaves off the thyme and throw in with the celery

4.) Peel the garlic, finely dice and add to the pan. Add some water if it starts to catch.

4.) Peel the carrots and parsnips and chop into slices. Add to the pan and fry for a couple of minutes.

5.) Boil some water and make up the stock. Pour into the pan, bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

6.) Chop up the parsley

7.) Blitz with an immersion blender until smooth.

8.) Mix in the cream, season and stir through. Season with parsley and serve with a slab of bread.

Superfood Salad

Superfoods may be seen as a bit of a fad but the thing is, most of them are really delicious. This salad may be made up of some slightly different superfoods from Jamie Oliver’s original recipe from his website but I’m going to blame that on the train service in this country, resulting in me having to do a rush job lunch-time shopping trip to an M&S express. Nonetheless, pomegranate seeds, feta cheese, parsnips and nuts contribute to making this delicious.

Serves 6 – 8

Ingredients

  • 2 parsnips
  • 2 baking potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • tsp olive oil
  • 200g bulgur wheat
  • 1 broccoli
  • 35g mixed nuts (I used a mix of pine nuts and sunflower seeds)
  • 1 small tub pomegranate seeds
  • 2 limes
  • 1 pack beansprouts
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves
  • 1 pack feta cheese
  • salt

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C

2.) Peel and cube the parsnips and potatoes

3.) Line a baking tray

4.) Add the cubed vegetables to a mixing bowl, add half a tbsp oil then add the chilli flakes, a sprinkle of salt, the ground coriander and the cinnamon. Turn around with your hands until everything is coated with the spices then pour into the baking tray.

5.) Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until soft.

6.) While this is baking, peel and dice the onion.

7.) Heat some more oil in a frying pan and fry the onion for a couple of minutes. Then add the beansprouts. Fry until everything is soft then turn off the heat.

8.) In another pan, add the bulgur wheat with enough water to cover and bring to the boil.

9.) Chop up the broccoli and add in the pan with the bulgur wheat.

10.) Cook for about 10 minutes until the broccoli and bulgur wheat is soft. Turn off the heat, drain off the water and set aside to cool.

12.) In another small pan, toast the nuts until they’re starting to give off a nutty fragrance then remove them from the heat.

13.) Chop the feta cheese into cubes and add to the mixing bowl. Slice the limes and add the juice into the bowl. Chop up the coriander leaves and add them to the bowl.

14.) Once the broccoli and bulgur wheat, potatoes and parsnip, onions and beansprouts have cooled to lukewarm, combine them with the rest of the ingredients in the mixing bowl. Give everything a good stir.