Parsnip and Cheddar soup
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
50g (2oz) butter
1 onion, finely chopped
750g (1lb 10oz) parsnips, chopped
350g (12oz) floury potatoes, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1l (1¾pt) light vegetable stock
150ml (5fl oz) pot crème fraiche
4 tbsp chopped curly parsley
100g (3½oz) Cheddar cheese, finely grated
Pastry cheese straws
1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion, parsnips and potatoes and gently cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure they don’t stick. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
2. Add the bay leaf and stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes until perfectly tender. Mash until slightly chunky, or whizz with a stick blender for a smoother soup. Stir in 4 tbsp of the crème fraiche, the parsley and half the Cheddar. Check the seasoning and add an extra splash of boiling water if you feel the soup needs thinning a little.
3. To serve, spoon into little cups arranged on saucers and top with the remaining crème fraiche, a little extra parsley and the rest of the Cheddar. Serve immediately with savoury cheese straws.