Like many people nowadays, we have a weekly veg box delivered by a local farm (SB Organics, if you're interested) - and like many people, by January we're getting a little bored with the endless supply of root vegetables. Luckily, many, many years ago my dad taught me how to make curried parsnip soup - in fact, it was one of the first things I cooked by myself. I've tweaked the recipe over the years, replaced the original potato with a little rice, as I have spare rice more often than spare potatoes (one or the other is fairly essential though to give a smooth soup) and adding some extra vegetables - the celeriac adds a wonderful depth of flavour (and is another regular veg box orphan in need of use!) but can be omitted if you haven't any, alternatively carrot and swede add sweetness and colour.
Curried Parsnip Soup (serves 2 to 3)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp butter
1 small onion, sliced
1 clove of garlic, crushed with the flat of a knife
an inch of fresh ginger, crushed with the flat of a knife
2-3 medium parsnips, peeled & chopped
1 small celeriac, peeled & chopped
1 small apple, peeled, cored & chopped
2 tsp curry powder
2 tbsp rice
2 pints stock or water
Gently sauté the onion, garlic and ginger in a large saucepan. When they are softened & beginning to turn golden add the parsnip, celeriac, apple, rice and curry powder, stir well then pour on the stock. Simmer gently for 20 to 30 minutes (until all of the vegetables are soft) then blend until smooth. Serve piping hot with crusty bread, and a swirl of yoghurt if you're feeling fancy.