My last post encouraged you to try making a punchy pickle without any certainty that you could access the recipe. Here, for those of you left floundering and frustrated is a clearly explained way to warm up on cooler autumn days... As promised. After all, I'm a man of my word. Let's move swiftly on while my family and close friends debate that one!
I know this works. Trust me. I didn't reference anything except my limited imagination and made it up mysen'! (If a Yorkshire accent doesn't suit, I'll discard it from now on)
Parsnip and Lime Pickle Soup
550g parsnips, chunkily chopped
Half an onion - finely chopped
250ml whole milk
500ml vegetable stock
Two or three tablespoons hot lime pickle
Salt and pepper
In a large pan, soften the onions in a little oil then add the parsnips. Continue at a medium heat until the parsnips suggest they might be a bit browned off. Add as much of the lime pickle as you dare and keep heating while it coats the vegetables. I really think you should stop at three tablespoons or you risk overpowering the parsnips.
Now add the milk and stock. Bring everything to a simmer and maintain that for 40 minutes with a lid on.
Check that all is soft and forgiving. Zizz in a food processor or with a stick blender and season to your liking. I went the extra mile and sieved mine but that's your call when you make this.
You should now have a smooth or, in my case, a silky smooth mix. I have made plenty of parsnip soups but they have previously relied on traditional curry related spices, or a North African hit from Berbere or Ras el Hanout spicing. This one will have the heat of chilli pickle but also the sweet/sour tang of limes.
What size servings? Another decision for you... And if you make the same choice as I did you will have more to go round. My judgement was that this is a lovely flavour which is slightly unusual and full-on. So, I resolve to serve this as no more than a small starter dish in future... Most likely as an amuse bouche. It's just too insistent to take as a complete lunch offering.
Having said that, I'm really looking forward to sharing it with family and friends in those ideal small portions.
As you can see, I've already toyed around with 'serving suggestions'. The sweet root of the parsnip, the lime and chilli heat do bring to mind poppadums and pickles. For added texture, a proper snappy poppadum would seem a good foil... Maybe just a small, carefully crimped one for delicate offerings. I can also see the shot glass topped with a coriander foam.
Muck about with presentation if you wish but this soup has enough of its own flavour to stand alone and be enjoyed.
There is a bit of product placement in my pic of the ingredients above. This was only because I was reluctant to use my too-recently made version. When that does mature I've a sneaky feeling that Roopa will give Geeta the elbow.