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Foamy Cream of Parsnip Soup with Prawns & Herb Oil

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Foamy Cream of Parsnip Soup with Prawns & Herb Oil

Foamy Cream of Parsnip Soup with Prawns & Herb Oil

Photo © House of Origin
The following recipe has been translated from the original Dutch in 'Raapsteeltje' and has been republished with the permission of the publisher.

Because prawns (jumbo shrimp) aren't always the cheapest, and the recipe includes some fiddly steps (sieving!), I see this as more of a special occasion recipe than a mid-week one. However, you could also eat the parsnip soup in its rustic unsieved state, with some nutty bread. And, if you don't eat shellfish, you could simply sprinkle some sliced sauteed mushrooms on top.

Ingredients:

  • 2 parsnips
  • 5 shallots or 2 onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp regular olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock (600 ml)
  • 2/3 cup cream (150 ml)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons butter (50 g)
  • 12 small prawns, deheaded and peeled
  • 1/2 tbsp regular olive oil
  • 1 cup green herbs, such as parsley, celery leaf and basil (50 g)
  • 2/3 cup extra vergin olive oil

Preparation:

Peel and dice the parsnips and shallots. Peel and crush the garlic. Add oil to a soup pot and sautee the parsnips and shallots over a low heat (so that they don't discolor).

Add the garlic, allow to cook briefly and then add the vegetable stock. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes over a medium heat.

Once the parsnips have softened, puree the soup with a stick blender. Place a sieve over a large bowl and strain the soup through the sieve. You can help the process along by pressing the soup through the sieve with the bottom of a soup ladle.

Add the cream and butter. Return the soup to the soup pot and bring to a boil. Season with salt, to taste.

Butterfly and devein the prawns. Over a medium heat, fry the prawns in some oil in a frying pan, until they're pink and curled up.

Place herbs, salt and extra virgin olive oil in a blender and blend. Place a clean sieve over a bowl and press the herb oil mixture through the sieve.

Froth the soup up just before serving, using a (clean) stick blender. Scoop the soup into soup plates, place some shrimp in the center of each plate and drizzle a little herb oil over the soup.

Tips:

  • The original Dutch recipe stipulates 'roomboter' (butter made from cream, not milk), but simply use the best quality butter you can find.
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