Forkful's speedy suppers: Honeyed parsnip soup and blue cheese spaghetti
We have undeniably moved into soup season, and this week, we've got a honey-sweetened parsnip soup to keep you warm.
The parsnips are balanced nicely by the bacon, which you can of course omit if you're cooking for vegetarians. The finely chopped toasted hazelnuts add a delicious texture to this bowl of warming soup.
With our spaghetti recipe this week, we're giving a nod to the Christmas season that has come upon us, without losing the run of ourselves too much.
The blue cheese, cranberry and sage gives this speedy supper a distinctly seasonal feel.
Honeyed parsnip soup
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 rashers of bacon
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of honey
750ml of vegetable stock
Handful of hazelnuts
1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based pot over a medium to high heat.
2. Peel and roughly chop the vegetables. Finely chop the bacon. Gently fry the bacon, parsnips and onion in the hot oil for 10 minutes. Add the peeled cloves of garlic and fry for a further three minutes.
3. Add the honey and pour in the vegetable stock into the pot and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
4. Meanwhile, slice the hazelnuts in half. Dry toast them in a small frying pan over a medium heat until browned, but be careful not to burn them.
5. Blitz the soup with a handheld blender. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
6. Finely chop the hazelnuts and add half to soup. Serve soup with the rest of hazelnuts, an extra drizzle of honey and chopped parsley scattered on top.
Blue cheese spaghetti
Serves 2 (easily doubled)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
1 tablespoon of butter
50g of blue cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon of dried cranberries
1 tablespoon of finely chopped walnuts
Fresh sage, finely chopped
1. Cook spaghetti in a saucepan of boiling water according to its packet's instructions and drain. Return to the saucepan and place over a very low heat.
2. Crumble in the blue cheese and stir until melted. Remove from the heat.
3. Add the finely chopped cranberries, walnuts and sage. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well.
4. Serve with more finely chopped cranberries, walnuts and fresh sage on top.
This week's storecupboard essential:
Dried cranberries: These little rubies are a versatile fruit to have in your pantry, especially at this time of year. Add to your home-made granola, or make white chocolate and cranberry cookies for a Christmassy treat.
Photos: Mark Duggan