Roast bramley apple, parsnip and vintage Lincolnshire Poacher Soup

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes

1 large Bramley apple – peeled, cored and cut into large wedges
2 large parsnips – peeled and roughly chopped
3 new potatoes – chopped
1 medium onion – peeled and chopped
A handful of fresh lemon thyme or regular thyme
Olive oil
A splash of white wine – optional
1 litre of good quality vegetable stock
150g vintage Lincolnshire Poacher cheese – finely grated

Featured in:
January 2017

It’s genuinely miserable weather out there, a proper January I think you’ll agree. It’s snuggling up by the fire weather, pyjamas on all day weather. Today is soup weather. It’s not every day that you think of using apples in a huge array of savoury dishes but if you think of how well the classic orange and carrot soup works, then this soup has a similar wonderful fruity and earthy tang to it…totally divine! I have of course made many a parsnip soup and I had a suspicion that the sweetness of the parsnip would work really well with the bittersweetness of the Bramley. Roasting all the vegetables together gives everything a wonderful nutty flavour and of course makes the whole cooking process really simple. The Poacher cheese, which needs to be vintage or very strong, simply rounds the whole dish out, adding it’s own nuttiness which complements the apples beautifully.

Pre-heat the oven to 160C.

Place all the veg and apples, along with the herbs and a good sprinkling of olive oil into a large oven-proof dish, season well with salt and pepper and mix it all together – using your hands is probably best here.

Roast in the oven for roughly 20 mins – you want a good dark golden colour on the veg and the apples will turn to mush.

When your veg is gloriously golden, heat a little olive oil and butter in a soup pan and tip the veg into the pan, then drizzle a dash of white wine into the roasting tin and using a wooden spoon, stir around any caramelised bits that have been left behind and then pour this into the soup pan with the veg.

Let the veg and wine bubble strongly for about 5 mins but make sure that you stir it regularly so the bottom doesn’t burn but that it all caramelises beautifully, then pour in the stock. Place a lid on, turn down the heat and let it simmer gently for 20 mins, then set it aside to cool until lukewarm.

Add a large handful of cheese and then blitz it all together with a stick blender and serve with some more finely grated Poacher.

Eat and of course, enjoy!

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