This curried parsnip and pear soup is an ideal recipe for a seasonal winter starter or lunch. Sweat and savoury ingredients combine deliciously as sugary pears meet earthy parsnips meet spicy curry powder. Opt for small parsnips over larger ones as they're less likely to have a fibrous core and don't require peeling. Go the extra mile by making your own curry powder by using a food processor to blend 1 tablespoon of each yellow mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, turmeric powder and chilli powder. Put this soup in a thermos for an effective antidote to chilly weather walks.
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 tsp curry powder
600g parsnips (about 6), roughly chopped
3 pears, quartered
800ml vegetable stock
3 tbsp double cream
1 pear, sliced
Small bunch of basil leaves
Heat the butter in a large pan and add the onion and curry powder. Gently sauté for 5 minutes, or until the onion softens.
Put the parsnips and pears in the pan and stir so that they become well coated in the curry butter. Pour in the milk and stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
Check that the parsnips are tender before removing from the heat. Blend using a food processor or hand blender, then stir through the cream and season to taste.
To serve: melt the butter in a frying pan and carefully add the pear slices. Allow the pear to fry for 1 minutes then use tongs to flip it and allow the other side to cook for a further minute.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with pear slices and basil leaves.