Sweet parsnips, spicy ginger, and deliciously smoky garlic come together in my thick and warming soup that’s topped with protein-packed roasted chilli chickpeas, plus fresh coriander. This gingery parsnip soup with spicy roasted chickpeas is the perfect antidote to chilly weather!
As much as I love hot weather (and I really do), the big advantage of cooler temps is that I get to cook all the hearty foods I love so much. Yay!
Toward the end of autumn, I start looking forward to all the soups, stews, and casseroles I’ll be making with the abundance of locally-grown produce. In the depths of winter and early spring, while it may be cold and grey outside, and positively damp (it’s rarely cold and white, esp. here, right by the sea – and no, it doesn’t actually rain that much), in our home, it’s warm and super-cosy, and there’s generally a pot of soup on the go (in my slow cooker on days I’m at the café). The place is filled with comforting soupy aromas, which, I have to admit, is so lovely to come home to after cooking all day of cooking for clients.
Unless it’s broccoli soup… or anything with brassicas in. Then my home smells farty. And that’s really not very good.
I no longer cook brassica-based soups in the slow cooker.
Making Gingery Parsnip Soup
Although I’m generally not a fan of super-thick soups, there are a few I will make an exception for – eg potato, leek, and cheese , tomato bisque – and this one. I’ve made it a bit thinner before, and quite apart from the topping sinking (at that time, dehydrated parsnip and beetroot chips), it just wasn’t right. While it’s not quite puréed baby food, a soup like this nevertheless needs to be thicker than usual.
Usual for me, that is. You may prefer all your soups to be baby food-like!
I’ve used roast parsnips before, and to be honest, the flavour pay-off isn’t worth the additional faff. If you’re making a roast dinner anyway, and throw an extra half a kilo of parsnips into the oven to roast at the same time to use for soup, then all well and good but I really wouldn’t bother roasting them otherwise.
Roasted garlic on the other hand, does work well in this gingery parsnip soup… but only if you put it in when blending, not at the beginning, otherwise the flavour will just get lost.
Don’t over-do the cumin – it can be bitter when there’s too much. If you don’t want to use cumin, try 1 tsp of ground coriander and ½ tsp garam masala (again, put the the garam masala in during blending).
The lime juice is not absolutely essential but it does just lift the flavours – you can leave it out if you want, the soup will still be delicious.
Gingery Parsnip Soup with Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
- thick ‘n’ hearty
- warming ‘n’ comforting
- packed with protein
- full of goodness
- super-easy to make
- super-yum to eat!
Serve with a hunk of fresh bread (my particular favourite right now is rye sourdough, made by my lovely friend, Ben) and you’ll have a full and happy tummy for hours!
Tell me about your favourite parsnip recipes in the comments below!
Gingery Parsnip Soup with Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 Spanish onion finely sliced
- 4 cloves smoked garlic large ones
- 5 cm (2") ginger root no need to peel
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 500 g parsnips peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 litre vegetable broth
- fresh lime juice to taste
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- Preheat your oven to 220°C (420°F / gas mark 7), line a cookie sheet with either a silicone baking mat (eg Silpat) or silicone baking parchment, and place in the oven to heat up.
- Heat 3 tbsp sunflower oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat, and fry the sliced onion for 5 mins or so, until it becomes translucent.
- Smash the garlic and ginger together to make a paste, and add to the onions, along with the cumin. Continue to fry for another 2 mins, stirring all the time.
- Add the chopped parsnips and stock. Bring to the boil, cover the pan, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20-25 mins, until the parsnips are soft.
- Make the topping: while the soup is cooking, place the chickpeas, sesame oil, cumin, and gochujang into a bowl, and mix well.
- Spread the seasoned chickpeas in a single layer on the heated cookie sheet, then roast for 20-25 mins, until golden and crispy (but not bullet-hard!).
- Once the soup is cooked, blend until smooth (I use my Froothie Optimum VAC2*), then season with a dash of lemon juice and black pepper.
- Divide the soup into four bowls, then top with the roasted chickpeas, and a sprinkling each of gochugaru and fresh coriander.
- This soup can be frozen (without the chickpeas) for up to three months, or kept in the fridge in an airtight container for around a week. The chickpeas can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container.
- 1 cup = US cup = 240 ml
- 1 tbsp = US/UK = 15 ml
- 1 fl oz = US = 30 ml
* Froothie Optimum VAC2
I used my Optimum VAC2 Air Vacuum Blender for this recipe; if you want to try out this great blender for yourself (more information in my review), Froothie is offering yumsome readers an extra £20 discount, in addition to free shipping. Simply add the following code into the comments box when you check out, or if you order by ‘phone, relay the code to the person taking your order. The discount will be refunded to your credit or debit card.
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In addition, Froothie offers a no-risk 30 day trial, plus a no-deposit, interest-free payment plan on every blender on the Froothie website. Until the end of March, the VAC2 is on special offer, with £160 off the usual price.
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