Having given myself a 72 hour quarantine in the house to see off a persistent cough, I set about getting busy with the comfort food. Son #2 is on rest from rugby for a few weeks following an operation so we’ve bribed him on a redecorating project to keep him out of trouble. Time to keep the germs out and the veg count up in anticipation of the next match.
This is sweet, comforting and tasty soup has a creamy texture disguising the vitamin packed veg content.
This is grown up enough for a dinner party but is devoured by even the most sniffy of children for lunch, paired with some carrot bread rolls and salty French butter.
Spiced Winter Super Soup
Serves 4/5, with same again for the freezer
1 x tbsp coconut oil
1 x onion, finely chopped
2 x cloves garlic, minced
1 x small squash, chopped into small chunks
2 x large parsnips, peeled, cored and chopped into similar size chunks as squash
1 x 400ml can light coconut milk
500ml vegetable stock
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
Creme fraiche, pumpkin seeds or pepper (or all of the above) to garnish.
Get hold of a large, sturdy saucepan and heat the coconut oil in it until it melts. When it’s hot, add in the garlic and onion. Stir these until they sweat down and soften – you don’t want to colour the contents, just release the flavour. When softened and fragrant, add the vegetables and spices and stir about until all are coated and even. Sweat these off for 5 minutes or so before adding the stock and the coconut milk.
Take this all down to a simmer, cover and let it snuggle in there for 15-20 minutes, taking care not to scorch the bottom or the sides of the pan. It is ready to come off the heat when the vegetable are soft when tested with a knife or handy fork.
I use a hand blender for this next bit but if you don’t have one you can cool this mixture down and then pop in a blender. Blend until it’s a lovely velvety broth, making sure no stray lumps of veg have escaped the blades.
To serve, a drizzle of flavoured oil (truffle, porcini) or creme fraiche and a sprinkling of seeds add texture and bite.
Germs don’t stand a chance!