Roasted Parsnip & Pear Soup. This rich and warming soup is the ultimate cool-weather comfort food.
750g small parsnips (about 5)
2 onions, thickly sliced
2 Beurre Bosc pears, peeled, cored and sliced in wedges
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
275g chilli speck or pancetta, chopped into 1cm pieces – leave out if making vegetarian version
1 leek, trimmed, halved lengthways and thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp chopped sage leaves
1 cup white wine
2 litres chicken stock or vegetable is making vegetarian version
2 bay leaves
175g stilton, crumbled
Preheat oven to 180˚C. Peel the parsnips and slice lengthways in quarters. Combine parsnips, onion, pear, thyme and the olive oil in a large roasting pan.
Season and cover tightly with foil. Roast for 35 minutes. Remove foil. Cook for a further 35 minutes, or until golden, tossing once.
Set aside half the roasted parsnips for garnish.
Heat an oiled stock pot over a medium heat. Add speck. Cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until golden.
Add the leek, celery, garlic and sage. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until tender. Add wine. Reduce by half.
Add the stock, bay leaves and roasted vegetables. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
Blend half the soup until smooth, then return reserved soup to pot and reheat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve soup with the roasted parsnips and stilton.