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Curried Parsnip and Banana Soup

Curried Parsnip and Banana Soup

I was on holiday in Scotland and had ended up at a lovely hotel in Grantown-on-Spey.  It was an autumn break and the weather was, well Scottish, so we all ended up a little chilly!  After a day out walking, we retired to our rooms for a quick shower and a warm through then down to the restaurant for evening meal.

I seem to recall a beautiful cat that wandered around the hotel including the dining room and no one seemed to mind, I bet health and safety have put a stop to his adventures now.  Once were all seated the waitress came over to explain the choices for the evening.  “You can start with Prawn Cocktail or Curried Parsnip and Banana Soup” she explained… to which we all replied of course with cries of “Curried Banana Soup??”

She laughed and said that everyone had said that.  But added that for every dish of soup she’d delivered to her tables a clean bowl had been picked up with compliments to the chef sent back with the washing up.  So we threw caution to the wind and prepared to be warmed up by this Scottish chef’s unusual soup of the day!

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Ingredients

4 good sized Parsnips

2 Bananas – slightly over ripe is best

Half a pint of Milk

A cube of Butter

1tbsp Curry Powder, just a standard supermarket variety is fine

2tsp Turmeric

Pinch Salt

Pinch of Chilli Powder (optional)

Some Coriander leaves to garnish if you wish

What to do

In a large saucepan melt the butter.  Slice the banana into chunks and add to the pan, this may burn quite quickly so keep the heat at a medium level and stir, the banana will become quite translucent as it cooks.  Remove from the heat.

Peel and chop the parsnips and add to the saucepan, along with all the spices you are using, plus just a pinch of salt.  Add the milk, plus a quarter pint of water and take pan back to the heat to bring to the boil.  Simmer with a lid on the pan for around 20-30 minutes until the parsnip pieces are soft and the banana has completely disintegrated into the mix.

Test that the parsnips are cooked by prodding with a knife, and remove from the heat when soft.  Using a blender or potato masher if you don’t have one, grind all the ingredients together into a soup, you will be glad you left the parsnip mixture to cook until really soft at this point, or arm-ache will set in with the masher!  You can add a little boiling water or milk at this stage depending on whether you like a more runny soup or a ‘stand your spoon up in it’ soup.

Pour mix back into the saucepan, bring to the heat and serve with crusty warm bread and butter.

Ring the Changes

Substituting the parsnips for butternut squash works really well.

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