This spicy parsnip and cauliflower soup is the perfect winter warmer and a great Christmas meal starter.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 medium cauliflower, separated into florets, its tough stem chopped into 1cm cubes
4 parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped (with any woody cores removed)
1 vegetable stock cube
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp thyme leaves (optional)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp crème fraîche
Stilton cheese, crumbled, to serve (optional)
1) Add the oil to a large saucepan on a medium heat. Add the onions, cauliflower and parsnips, along with a couple of pinches of salt. Cover the pan and sweat the veg for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned.
2) In a jug, add the stock cube to 1 litre of boiling water and stir to dissolve. Add the garlic to the pan, cook for 2 minutes, stirring, and then add the spices and the thyme (if using). Cook for 1 minute, stirring, then add the stock and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, partially cover the pan, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the veg are tender but not mushy.
3) Remove the pan from the heat, let it cool slightly, and then blitz using a hand-held blender. Stir through the crème fraîche, then serve in soup bowls, topped with chunks of Stilton (optional) and plenty of crusty bread on the side.