I’ve been making this pear and parsnip soup quite a bit recently, both at the Farm Kitchen and at home. The mellow, gentle flavours are just what we need at the moment, and parsnips are beautiful, sweet and abundant here now too. It’s nice to sprinkle the top with crushed, toasted walnuts or hazlenuts but you could skip this bit in favour of some warm croutons or perhaps even a few slices of fresh pear. I just made a batch for dinner tomorrow night so I can head off to Sydney in the morning feeling like at least dinner is done and good, and thought it might be nice to share it here too.
Pear and parsnip soup
2 leeks, washed and finely chopped
2 Buerre Bosc pears, peeled and roughly chopped (or you could use Granny Smith apples)
6 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped (or about 3 cups chopped parsnip)
1/2 tsp toasted fennel seeds (optional, I love the flavour but if you want a really nice, simple soup just leave them out)
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup cream
Toasted walnuts or hazlenuts and a drizzle of walnut oil, to serve
Cook the leeks and butter together in a large saucepan on medium heat until leeks are lovely and soft. Add the pears, parsnip and fennel seeds and cook for a couple more minutes. Now pour in the stock, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes or until the parsnips are completely tender. Blitz until smooth then stir in the cream and season just before serving with a scattering of toasted nuts. Add more stock or even milk if you prefer a thinner consistency.
Serve with some bitter greens and toasted bread.