Curried Parsnip Soup

Curried Parsnip Soup

I do not like parsnips. There. It's out in the open. I don't like them boiled and mashed with or without carrots, nor do I like them coated in Parmesan cheese and roasted. Just in case you missed it the first time, I don't like parsnips. Imagine my surprise, therefore, when twenty years ago I reluctantly ate curried parsnip soup served as the first course of a wedding meal and I liked it. So I had great expectations of yesterday's soup.

According to Sophie Grigson's introduction to it in The Soup Book, Jane Grigson created the recipe in the 1970s and it was deemed "radical at the time". The ingredients include coriander seeds, cumin seeds, chilli flakes, ground turmeric, ground fenugreek, an onion, garlic, parsnips, stock and cream, with either chives or parsley to garnish. I ground up the spices in my pestle and mortar before peeling and chopping the onion, garlic and parsnips. Then I cooked the vegetables in butter, adding the spice mixture and some flour after ten minutes. Next in was the stock (you can use vegetable, chicken or beef - I chose beef). When the parsnips were tender I liquidised the mixture, reheated it and poured in the cream. The spouse and younger offspring dragged themselves away from whichever sporting event they'd been watching and proclaimed the soup to be great. It was. It lived up to my expectations of curried parsnip soup and it's on my "make again" list. But I still don't like parsnips.

Bee is for Benson

I am re-reading Mapp and Lucia, the fourth in the Lucia series by E F Benson. It was first published in 1935 and I first read it in 1984. The television series was shown the following year. The context for the following bee-related lines is that Emmeline Lucas (Lucia), the doyenne of Riseholme society, is emerging from bereavement following the death of her husband. She had withdrawn from many activities, and the organisation of a forthcoming festival is lacklustre without her energy and drive. Her friend Georgie Pillson is delighted to hear that she has plans for a new venture.

Lucia gave [Georgie] one of those glances behind which lurked so much purpose, which no doubt would be disclosed at the proper time. The bees were astir once more in the hive, and presently they would stream out for swarmings or stingings or honey-harvesting ... It was delightful to see her looking like that again. 
And now back to work.



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