Well, hello there!
When I was busy planning my first gluten-free vegetarian Christmas meal, I always had in mind that I would fill a pumpkin or serve a filled pie. I ended up doing nothing that was filled (except the eggplant rolls), and discarded the idea of serving this soup in a pumpkin that had previously been roasted tender in the oven. For one I felt that we already had more than enough to eat, on the other hand I thought that this soup was already flavorful enough and that adding pumpkin would take away from its richness, confusing the palate rather than tickling it. Also, this soup is vegan if you ommit the dash of cream that I suggest adding toward the end, and will mean enjoying the flavours even more intensely.
Parsnip Cream Soup with Duqqa and Mint Garnish
You will love the sweet taste of the roasted parsnips, which would be beautiful on its own. The duqqa, a mix of nuts and spice seeds, is traditionally from Egypt really adds to the soup, as does the mint. I encourage you to try this exotic mix of distinct flavors, you will not regret it.
Ingredients for the soup:
700g parsnips, washed, peeled and cut into pieces of 3 cm length
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp chopped parsley
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
gluten-free vegetable broth (approximately 3 cups)
one dash whipping cream (ommit for a vegan version)
salt and pepper to taste
several sprigs of mint (for garnish)
Ingredients for the Dukkah:
one handful of pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
Toast the pumpkin and sesame seeds until fragrant. Ensure to stir often, so that none of the seeds get burned. Repeat with the remainder of the seeds. Place all of the roasted seeds into your blender and blend for about five to ten seconds, rendering a coarse powder. You can prepare this up to five days ahead of time.
Wash the parsnips, peel them and cut them into rectangular pieces of about three cm length. Toss them with the olive oil, the chopped onion, the parsley and the garlic cloves (cut into halves) and the salt and the pepper and spread evenly onto a baking tin lined with baking sheet. Turn our oven to 220 °C and roast until the parsnips are golden brown (mostly on the edges), turning them over every once in a while as to enable even roasting. If you are my husband, this recipe concludes here. He just loves parsnip chips on their own and threatened to eat them all, which if he had, would have left us all without soup on Christmas eve!
Place the roasted parsnips, onions and garlic into a pot, pour vegetable broth over it and proceed to puree the mixture until you obtain a smooth an even soup. Heat up the soup, add the dash of cream toward the end when it has come to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into a soup dish, sprinkle with a teaspoon of duqqa and garnish with a sprig of mint.