Curried Parsnip and Apple Soup 6.000

James M. Thresher for The Washington Post

Nov 19, 2008

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.

Servings: 6
  • 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)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons crème fraîche, 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.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from the BBC Web site.

Tested by Doris Truong.

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