I expect some people may have a bit of a double-take at this recipe as neither parsnips or Brussels spouts are up there on everyone’s favourite list, let alone mix them with apple and then produce a soup, but I can assure you this is delicious and one of the soups I like to serve at a dinner party (gets people guessing). The crisp Brussels sprouts make a great addition to many things, including a pizza, so do try them and you can even fry them with some pancetta for extra oomph. Give this dish a go, you won’t be disappointed. This will serve 4-6.
Parsnip and apple soup with crisp Brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon butter
60 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
1 onion, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
300g gala apples (about 2 small), peeled, coarsely chopped
1 sebago potato (about 200g), coarsely chopped
3 large parsnips (about 500g), coarsely chopped, fibrous cores removed
800 ml chicken stock
1 tablespoon coarsely torn oregano
150 ml pouring cream
1/3 baguette, thinly sliced
350g Brussels sprouts (about 16), trimmed, outer leaves discarded
40g butter, melted
Heat butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until onion softens and starts to caramelise (10 minutes). Add apple, potato and parsnip and stir to combine, then add stock and oregano, season to taste and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potato and parsnip are tender (15-20 minutes). Blend with a hand-held blender, then add cream, stir to combine and season to taste.
Preheat oven to 180C. Place baguette slices on an oven tray, brush with butter and bake, turning once, until golden (5-8 minutes).
Meanwhile, separate the Brussels sprouts leaves, quarter the hearts and stand in a bowl of cold water to crisp (5 minutes). Drain well, and pat dry with a tea towel. Heat remaining oil in a frying pan, add sprout hearts and fry, turning occasionally, until golden (2-3 minutes), then set aside on a plate and keep warm. Add Brussels sprout leaves to pan and fry until just starting to soften (30 seconds-1 minute).
Ladle soup into bowls, scatter with baguette croûtons, Brussels sprouts and parmesan, drizzle with extra oil and serve hot.