This light and pretty soup takes less than an hour to prepare.
Make Ahead: The soup can be made and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance. Add the grated apple during the 3 to 4 minutes of reheating.
- 1 heaping teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 heaping teaspoon cumin seeds
- 6 whole seeds from crushed green or brown cardamom pods
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 1/2 to 2 medium onion, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 heaping teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 pound parsnips, peeled and trimmed
- 4 cups low-sodium, fat-free vegetable broth (may substitute low-sodium chicken broth)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium Granny Smith apple
- 2 to 3 tablespoons creme fraiche, for serving (may substitute double cream)
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the coriander, cumin and cardamom seeds; toast for 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the skillet once or twice, until the seeds start to change color.
Transfer the seeds to a pestle; use a mortar to crush them finely. (Alternatively, let them cool, then grind in a dedicated spice grinder.)
Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter starts to foam, add the onions and cook for 2 minutes, stirring as needed. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add all the ground-spice mixture, along with the ginger and turmeric; stir to mix well. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook gently for a few minutes.
While the spice mixture is cooking, cut the parsnips into 1-inch cubes. Add them to the saucepan, stirring well, then add the broth; season lightly with salt and pepper. Increase the heat just to bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low; cook uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Remove the saucepan from the heat. Working in batches, transfer the soup mixture to the food processor and puree until smooth.
Return the pureed soup to the saucepan; taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
(At this point, the soup may be transferred to an airtight container and cooled to room temperature, then covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
When ready to serve, reheat the soup over medium-low heat for no more than 4 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and core the apple, then grate using the large holes of a box grater. Drop the grated apple into the soup in the last few minutes of reheating.
Remove from the heat; swirl in the creme fraiche to taste; divide among individual bowls and serve hot.
Adapted from the BBC Web site.
Tested by Doris Truong.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.