Parsnip and thyme soup with hazelnut butter

Photo: Simon Lambert
Photo: Simon Lambert
Parsnips have a  flavour quite unlike any other vegetable.


When used as I have done in a soup you uncover a sweetness and creamy texture which in turn makes a delectable soup.

Serves 4


2 Tbsp oil

1kg parsnips, peeled, cut into even pieces

1 leek, white only, finely sliced

1 Tbsp fresh thyme, roughly chopped

½ tsp cumin seeds

Salt and white pepper to taste

Hazelnut butter

50g butter

50g hazelnuts, toasted, lightly crushed


Add the oil to a large pot and over moderate heat add the leek and cook without colouring for 2 minutes.

Add the parsnips, thyme and cumin seeds, stir to coat in the oily leeks. Continue cooking without colouring for a further 5 minutes.

Add 1.5 litres of cold water, add 1tsp salt and a couple pinches of ground white pepper.

Cook over a moderate heat until the parsnips are soft and fragrant.

Blend until silky smooth. Rinse the pot and return the pureed soup to it and reheat gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning and consistency if needed.

To make the hazelnut butter; melt the butter in a small saucepan over a moderate heat until the butter starts to go golden brown and gives off a nutty aroma.

Add the crushed hazelnuts and toss in the butter and carefully cook for a further minute. Remove from the heat immediately.

Ladle the soup into warm bowls, spoon over the warm nutty butter and enjoy.


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