Space saving girl gadget

by Jax on January 18, 2013

I got a hand blender for Christmas. Who says romance is dead? I also got a lovely hat, which I left on the bus – gutted. I don’t deserve nice presents. Actually, I was pretty excited to get a hand blender.

Hand Blender2It doesn’t take up much space, and also has a whisk attachment. So it fulfills that boatie requirement of having more than one use.
I’m using it to make lots of soup at the moment (the blender, not the whisk obviously, that would be silly). Yesterday I made a variation on Delia’s curried Parsnip soup. She adds apple, but I love parnsip so much I’ve never bothered. I don’t think you can improve on perfection, but as I haven’ t tried it, maybe I’m wrong.
I didn’t take a picture as it looks like a bowl of soup, but the proof of the parsnip is in the eating. The recipe here is enough for 6 people, you can make less, but once you’ve gone to the trouble of making it, it’s always nice to have leftover for the fridge or freezer for another hassle free meal.

Perfect Parsnip Soup

Parsnips

700g parsnips
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
seeds of 6 whole cardamom pods
40g butter
1 tbsp groundnut oil
2 medium onions chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
2 pints/1.2 litres of good vegetable or chicken stock
salt and pepper to season

Toast the cumin, coriander and cardamom seeds in a pan to draw out their flavour, after a couple of minute they will change colour and start to jump. Crush them finely in a pestle and mortar*.

Heat the butter and oil in a saucepan (big enough to take 2 pints of stock and the parsnips) until the butter begins to foam. Add the onions and gently soften (this will take at least 5 minutes – meanwhile you can peel and chop the parnsips into 1 inch dice – if the centres are woody cut them out) before adding the garlic. Let that cook along with the onions for another couple of minutes, then add the crushed spices along with the turmeric and ginger, stir and let it all continue to cook gently for a few more minutes. Add the parsnips to the pan, stirring well, then pour in the stock and let the soup simmer as gently as possible for 1 hour without putting on a lid.

Remove from the heat and then when it has cooled enough liquidise it. In my case that means just whizzing it up in the jug with my lovely new hand blender. If you don’t have a liquidiser or hand blender it should be possible to push it through a sieve using the bowl of a ladle – though I should admit to not having tried this.

After it has been puréed, return the soup to the pan, re-heat very gently to serve and check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.

You can also make this recipe in advance and just re-heat when you are ready to eat.

If you want it to look posh you can garnish it with parsnip crisps, but for lunch for us I don’t bother. It’s so tasty. And even some people who profess not to care for parsnips really like this soup.

*(yes, I keep one of these on the boat, it’s a tiny one, so I have to do things in small batches but it comes in very useful)

The tech bit:
The hand blender I have is a Bosch powermax 750w MSM67, as well as the accessories you see here it comes with a universal cutter, but as I already have my Veggichopper which doesn’t require any power I figured I didn’t need that on board too. The cutter also has an ice crushing blade which I thought was just a step too far in the direction of decadence so that didn’t make the cut either (pun intended). Available at Amazon, or Currys £44.99
Blender with accessories

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