From Mark, YMCA’s Executive Chef
This is a great soup to make for Christmas Day starter or using the left-over vegetables from Christmas Day. It can be made 2 days in advance and just reheated when needed. I always think a soup tastes better a day or 2 after it is made because it allows the flavours to mingle.
You will need:
300 grams of parsnips peeled, chopped and core removed
300 grams of carrots peeled and chopped
300 grams of butternut squash, peeled, chopped and seeds removed
3 cloves of garlic
800ml of vegetable or chicken stock
Fresh thyme or rosemary (optional)
Double cream – optional
Cut the parsnips, carrots and butternut squash into equal chunks, place on a large roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil and the herbs. Roast in a hot oven for 20-30 minutes, or until soft and golden. Roasting the vegetables gives a better depth of flavour and sweetness to the soup.
While the vegetables are roasting, slice the onions and garlic and place in a large pan with olive oil and slowly cook until soft.
Add the roasted vegetables to the saucepan, and give a good stir, add about 800ml of vegetable or chicken stock and leave to simmer for 45 minutes. If it looks too thick just add more stock or water.
Blitz with a hand blender or liquidizer until smooth, you can then add some double cream if you would like to make it richer, or more stock if it looks too thick.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Make it even more fabulous by serving with a dollop of crème fraîche, croutons, crumbled blue cheese, mature cheddar, warm seeded bread, or reheated roasted potatoes which you can dip into the soup (amazing!).