Spiced parsnip and apple soup

Can we just take a moment to talk about Autumn?

Its one of those things that social media seems to go batshit crazy over and I get it, really, I do.

Although I am a little bit sad because I think this might be the final year that I get to wear the most amazing wooly tights ever. 

I bought them in New Look in the Tower Centre with the proceeds of my first week of work in Claire's Accessories. Little did I know at the time that I was buying the absolute best wooly tights in the world and no matter how many other pairs of tights I buy to try and replace them, they go all saggy around the gusset (WHAT A WORD) or the manufacturers seem to think that being tall must mean you have rugby player legs or the snazzy cable pattern stops at the ankle like we are all barbarians or something.

But no those 16 year old tights are very dear to me.

I understand the Autumn excitement.

Really, I do.

I love a fire and a good book and the internal switch from automatically reaching for white wine to red.

But here in the REAL world I was still having to shave my legs in September. The leaves on the trees may well have been falling, but fake tan application was on the rise.

And then, once the weather finally decided to get with the programme, it is either so beautifully sunny those hiding inside with books and pumpkin spiced lattes are denying themselves some of the most glorious sunrises and sunsets and days you can get all the bed sheets dried on the line.

And then there are days like today, where the rain can't wait to fall from the sky, and everything is just a bit grey and soggy and it doesn't matter two jots what your wooly tights look like because they will be hidden under a technical anorak.

To get over the crushing disappointment that Autumn isn't quite like Instagram and Pinterest depict, I mostly get excited about the BEST thing about it all.


I sodding love soup, and its hug-in-a-bowl properties are only enhanced by Northern Irish weather.

Try this one. It isn't quite as exciting as the perfect wooly tights, but it is sweet and a little spicy and honestly so delicious I make double portions when it is on my lunch menus and spend the rest of the day eating it all straight out of the saucepan every time I walk past.

Mrs P, keeping it classy since she spent her first pay packet on tights.


To make parsnip soup, guess what you are going to need?

That's right.

An onion.

Roughly chop that bad boy.

Melt a little butter over a low heat.

And add the chopped onion.

After playing with your tiny mind about onion being the base for a parsnip soup, you will eventually need some parsnips.

Peel those bad boys.

(I'm really sorry, I don't know why I keep referring to 'bad boys'.)

(It's all come over a bit Jamie Oliver round these parts.)

(Sorry Jamie.)

Whack the end off the parsnips.


And cut the parsnips into chunks.

( My temporary madness appears to have subsided.)

(Sorry about that.)

Throw the parsnip into the pan with the onion.

Add a heaped tablespoon of medium curry powder. 

I used a 'madra' blend, but feel free to use whatever takes your fancy. Korma is especially good in this soup.

Add a litre of vegetable stock.

I really think life is short and dinner is hard and stock cubes are just fine.

Although I use so much ruddy stock what with my daily soup making for the people, that I buy vats of the stuff.

A normal size cube is dandy.

Now our spiced parsnip and apple soup has both parsnip and spices, we might need to add an apple.

Chop it into rough chunks, and add to the pot.

As you can see here, really rough is fine.

Bring the whole lot to a boil, before allowing to simmer for 20 minutes.

Fire in some milk.

I always use full fat milk in everything because I am some sort of social leper who really enjoys the judgemental raised eyebrows I get in coffee shops for asking for it.


Sometimes they have to go to a special fridge and check it is in date, what with the rest of the population drinking skimmed and milking almonds and whatnot.

Also when you freeze soup, the fat particles don't do weird things and leave you with that bizarre separation you sometimes get in frozen soup.

So full fat it is for me.

Feel free to use whatever kind of milk you want, though.

(I really don't know where my brief science interlude came from.)

(Just be thankful it didn't last long.)

Grab a blender and blend the soup up.


Think of it as a tribute to the world's greatest wooly tights, never to be replaced.

Spiced parsnip and apple soup

Serves 4. Cooking time 30 minutes.

  • 4 parsnips
  • 1 onion
  • 1 eating apple
  • 30g butter
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 150ml milk
  1. Peel and roughly chop the onion.
  2. Melt the butter over a low heat.
  3. Add the onion to the butter, cooking for 5 minutes.
  4. Peel and roughly chop the parsnips.
  5. Add to the onion.
  6. Add the curry powder.
  7. Chop the apple, removing the core, and add to the pot.
  8. Add the vegetable stock, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  9. Add the milk and blend the cooked soup.
  10. Serve.
Sarah Patterson