As summer comes to a close and autumn starts to creep in with shorter days and cooler nights, the glut of fruit and vegetables just gets better and better. Parsnip and Walnut Soup with Walnut Pesto makes the most of the fabulous parsnips that are available in autumn.
Parsnips are a wonderful vegetable. Too good to be boiled, they must be roasted (or baked in a cake) to get the best from them. I was a late arrival to the joys of parsnips. Growing up in the 1970s in an industrial north-west town, all vegetables were boiled. To death. Once a vegetable has been ruined in that way and the taste and texture have been etched onto your memory it takes a long time to fill that memory with a new one where the vegetable tastes as it should. In this case with the parsnip it tastes earthy, spicy and musty. Boiling, even lightly, brings out the worst in a parsnip and this should never happen (ditto for carrots). Roasting parsnips is the perfect start to almost any parsnip dish. Whatever you may have seen in blogs, on TV or in books and magazines DO NOT drizzle with maple syrup, agave syrup or sugar. Hells bells why would you want to make a wonderful sweet vegetable more sweet? That would be weird!
Parsnip and Walnut Soup with Walnut Pesto is easy to make but takes about an hour to make in total. Most of the time involved is roasting time.
Perfect for lunch, dinner and even fancy enough for a dinner party. Parsnip and Walnut Soup with Walnut Pesto goes great with a simple salad such as Endive Salad with Pears and Almonds.
Allergy Information – Parsnip and Walnut Soup with Walnut Pesto
Parsnip and Walnut Soup with Walnut Pesto is gluten-free and vegan as well as… celery free, coconut free, garlic free, lupin free, mustard free, nightshade free*, onion free, peanut free, sesame free, soya free.
*Leave out the chilli for nightshade free.
Top Tips – Parsnip and Walnut Soup with Walnut Pesto
You can use a food processor, jug blender or immersion blender to blend the soup. All work equally well.
This is just one of the fabulous soups gluten-free, vegan (and allium-free and coconut-free) in my FREE E Book: 10 Quick, Easy and Delicious Soups. Download the E Book for FREE now! Just click the button below, sign-up and download.
Recipe – Parsnip and Walnut Soup with Walnut Pesto
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 50 minutes
Ingredients – Parsnip and Walnut Soup
1 kilogram parsnips
1 dried red chilli* crushed or crumbled (leave out for nightshade free)
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
1 teaspoon sea salt
0.5 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
0.25 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
60 grams walnuts
800 millilitres vegetable stock
Ingredients – Walnut Pesto
30 grams walnuts
3 tablespoons walnut oil
30 grams fresh basil
0.5 teaspoon sea salt
0.5 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Method – Parsnip and Walnut Soup
1. Preheat the oven to 200 C fan
2. Scrub (and peel if necessary) the parsnips, top and tail, cut in to large chunks and place on a large flat baking sheet
3. Add the rapeseed oil, crushed dried chilli, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well. Place in the oven and roast for 40-45 minutes until the parsnips are soft and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes
4. Toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan, keep them moving, until lightly coloured and there is a wonderful walnut smell. This should take less than two minutes in a medium-hot pan
5. Place the cooled parsnips in the food processor, jug blender or pan (for immersion blender) with the freshly ground nutmeg, toasted walnuts and vegetable stock. Blend until velvety smooth. If the soup is too thick you can add more stock
6. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as required
7. Reheat in a pan if required and serve with a drizzle of Walnut Pesto.
Method – Walnut Pesto
1. Gently toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan, keep them moving, until lightly coloured and there is a wonderful walnut smell. This should take less than two minutes in a medium-hot pan
2. Place the walnuts in a food processor or jug blender with the walnut oil, fresh basil and half of the sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Blend until smooth
3. Taste for seasoning and add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper as required.