Roast parsnip soup with crispy prosciutto and walnuts

Parsnips are not only for Christmas! The poor old parsnip has a pretty hard time not only does it only come out to shine once a year for Christmas but it is also the marmite of veg – you either love it or hate it. We Love it. Love the sweet, earthy flavour and once cooked takes on a wonderful sweet spiciness, with hints of nutmeg. One of our favourite ways is simply roasted with plenty of fat and salt and pairs well with chicken, pork and beef, Nigella adds a dash of maple syrup to hers whereas Jamie suggested honey and thyme, just thinking of that sticky parsnip stuck and caramelized at the end of the roasting tray makes ones mouth water. This is a super easy recipe and you don’t have to pre boil the parsnips which always feels like a huge relief. The soup feels rather luxurious with an earthy depth to it and works well with the crispy prosciutto and walnuts. A warming and comforting dish which is ideal for the cold, dark evenings. We use parsnips in numerous of different ways, one being baking – carrot cake has been in the limelight for far too long so why not give parsnip a go, you would be pleasantly surprised. We had our first harvest of parsnips this year which we have to say wasn’t the biggest success – they are really difficult to grow! Apparently the thing to do is to ignore the instructions on the packet for February sowing as you would get a better crop if sown later in April, and another tip is to lift them after a frost, as lightly frosted roots produce a better flavour.


    Serves 3 – 4 
    2 parsnips
    1 leek 
    4 garlic cloves 
    2 red chilies 
    Few sprigs of thyme 
    Large glass white wine 
    500ml stock 
    Squeeze lemon 

    For topping 
    Few pieces prosciutto
    Handful walnuts 


Pre heat oven to 200c.  Roughly chop the parsnips, leek, garlic, chilli put on a baking tray with the thyme, drizzle olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 mins till starting to caramelize. Take out the oven and leave to cool slightly then blend till smooth.  Poor the glass of wine into a pan and bring to the boil, add the stock then the parsnip mixture and simmer for a few minutes. Season.  For the topping roughly tear the prosciutto and fry with the walnuts till crisp.  Divid the soup between warm bowls, sprinkle the topping and parsley.