Adam Gray's parsnip and apple soup recipe is a remarkable surprise that works fantastically. Apples and parsnips are classic partners – both are sweet but green. Granny Smiths (a terrific cooking apple) are beautifully tart while parsnips are slightly earthy and spicy. Add the savouriness of onions and the smoothness of milk and cream and the result is a great tasting seasonal soup that works as well for a dinner party starter as it does for a light, casual lunch in autumn, when both star players are at their best. Use a vegetarian cheese instead of Parmesan as garnish if you're preparing this for a vegetarian
Start the parsnip and apple soup by peeling and quartering the parsnips, ensuring you remove any woody centres. Peel and finely chop the onion, then peel, core and quarter the apples
Heat the butter in a heavy-based saucepan until it starts to foam. Add the onions and cook gently without browning for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally
Add the parsnips and apples and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes
Pour in the milk to cover the ingredients and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, until the parsnips are tender
Remove the parsnip and apple soup from the heat and pour in the cream. Reheat on a gentle heat, stirring continuously. Once added the single cream to the soup you must not boil as this will cause the soup to curdle.
Purée the parsnip and apple soup in a liquidizer, then pass it through a fine sieve. Season to taste with salt and pepper then serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and some warm crusty bread
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