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This is a velvety smooth soup, ideal for the winter.
As with all spice cooking, take care to gently cook the curry powder, or it can burn and become bitter.
At the end of winter, parsnips may have hard woody cores which simply bounce about in the blender. Just remove and
discard them and continue to purée the remainder.
40g (1 1/2 oz) butter
a small onion, chopped
1/2-1 tsp medium Madras curry powder
350g (12 oz) parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
700ml (24 fl oz) light chicken stock, made from a cube or powder
350g (12 oz pears), weighed before peeling and coring
salt and freshly milled white pepper
4 tbsp creme fraîche, whisked - if desired
Melt the butter in a pan and add the onion and curry powder.
Gently cook uncovered for five minutes, until tender but not coloured.
Add the parsnips to the onion mixture, along with the chicken stock.
Simmer briskly for 20 minutes, then add the pears and simmer for 10 minutes more, or until all is tender and the vegetables
crush easily against the side of the pan with the back of a spoon.
Purée in the blender until smooth, then season with salt and pepper, and serve with a swirl of creme fraiche, if desired.