Seasonal Parsnip Soup with Charred Pears

The days are drawing in, the weather is getting chillIer, who can’t resist a delicious steaming hot bowl of soup?!

Autumn is bursting full of an abundance of delicious, fresh produce. And just one quick trip to your local farmers market will quite possibly spark around 10 different flavour combos – this is how my Parsnip soup came about anyway.

Seeing the huge irregular shaped roots covered in their own mud got me salivating over my favourite flavours in a roast dinner. The humble parsnip for me was always far more exciting than roast potatoes when I was growing up – a slightly sweet, earthy flavour, this was the jewel of the plate. Lucky for me, it was just my Mum and I who loved eating them meaning we could pile our plates high.

Pears and Parsnips?

Trust me, it works! But beware, pears are high in FODMAP’s so this element of the recipe is not for you if you’re on the elimination part of the diet. The sweetness of the parsnips works really well in with the pears, and when cooked bring a little added savoury to this soup. Honestly, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

But don’t soups require a lot of time and energy to make?

Simply put, no! This soup is super easy. It’s as simple as roasting a load of parsnips, blending them together with some veg stock (I made a fresh batch out of veggie odds and ends, but if you’re tight on time, a good quality stock cube will do!), some sautéed fennel and finally finishing with a sprinkle of asafoetida (works as the perfect onion replacement – if you can tolerate onions feel free to use the real deal) and the magic ingredients – miso, tamari and mirin. It’s these last three ingredients that takes this soup to a whole new level!

Seasonal Parsnip Soup with Charred Pears

Vegan, FODMAP friendly, Gluten Free

For the Soup:

1lb Parsnips, cleaned and chopped in to even sized chunks

1 small Fennel Bulb, finely chopped

1 tsp Asafoetida

200ml Vegetable Stock, good quality

1 tbsp Miso

Dash of Tamari

Dash of Mirin

Garlic Oil, to serve

Flat leaf Parsley, to serve

For the Pears:

1 Conference Pear

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt and Pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 fan assist and line a baking tray with tin foil.
  2. Prepare the parsnips, toss in extra virgin olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper and place on the prepared baking tray in a the oven to roast for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown.
  3. Finely dice the fennel (and onion if using) and gently fry with a little extra virgin olive oil until opaque. Remove from the heat and prepare the stock.
  4. Whilst waiting for parsnips to cook, prepare the pear by peeling, removing the core and finely slicing. Toss in a little extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Place a griddle pan on a medium to high heat and add the pear in batches, browning on each side for 1-2 minutes. Once all the pears have been griddled, place on a plate and set to one side
  5. Remove the parsnips from the oven and leave to cool slightly.
  6. Place the parsnips along with the sautéed fennel, asafoetida (or sautéed onion) and 200ml vegetable stock and blend until velvety.
  7. Add the miso, tamari, mirin and blend before tasting and balancing if required.
  8. Gently heat the soup through in a pan and serve with a generous helping of griddled pears, a drizzle of garlic oil and a scattering of flat leaf parsley. Best enjoyed with a delicious nutty slice of sourdough, darken rye works perfectly, as does a gluten free loaf if required.

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