Parsnip & Pear Soup with Hazelnut Dukka
This soup is very simple, but delicately sophisticated. I would say it’s even good enough for the festive table! Parsnips and pears are a match made in heaven and I think you’ll agree that my hazelnut dukka really makes the dish sing. The spiced, toasty crunch of dukka offsets the sweetness of the parsnips and pears, and a little drizzle of peppery extra virgin oil rounds off the bowl.
Ingredients (serves 4 as a starter)
- 1 tbsp olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
- 1 knob of butter
- the white part of a leek – rinsed and roughly chopped
- 1 scrubbed and trimmed parsnip – roughly chopped
- 2 small pears – quartered and cored
- salt to taste
- pinch of ground nutmeg (optional)
- hazelnut dukka (see recipe below)
In a pot, gently soften the leeks, parsnip and pear with the olive oil, butter and a pinch of salt. Once the vegetables start to soften and wilt down, just cover them with water and simmer until the parsnips are cooked through. Then blend the soup until very smooth with a handheld stick blender (or let it cool down and blend in a food processor). Taste for seasoning and add more salt and a fragrant pinch of nutmeg if you like (this just makes it extra festive). Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of hazelnut dukka.
- cumin seeds
- coriander seeds
- sesame seeds
Dukka is an Egyptian nut and spice blend which is absolutely delicious. You’ll be hooked once you try it so it’s worth learning to make your own. My version is fairly simple to make.
I find an empty jar that I want to store it in and half fill it with hazelnuts. Walnuts or mixed nuts are great too. Then toast the nuts (for hazelnuts, I do this in a tray in a hot oven – just keep an eye on them and give the tray a shake every now and then so that they toast evenly – it should only take around 10 minutes).
Then tip the hazelnuts onto a clean tea towel on your work surface, place another tea towel on top and rub your hands quite firmly on the tea towel and the skins will just flake off. Then pick out the skinned and toasted hazelnuts and chop them with a large, sharp knife and put them in the jar.
The rest of the jar space should be taken up with toasted sesame, cumin and coriander seeds in fairly equal proportions. I just eyeball it and toast these one at a time in a dry frying pan, or altogether in the oven. I like to bash up the toasted coriander seeds a bit with a pestle and mortar first.
Then give the jar a shake to mix up the ingredients, let it cool completely with the lid off before popping the jar on your shelf to use on lots of different dishes. Your dukka should stay fresh for at least a month.
Did you make this soup? Let us know how it went in the comments and feel free to share the recipe with your friends and family. Share photos of our recipes on the Green Earth Organics Healthy Eating Facebook page or tag us @greenearthorganics1 over on Instagram. We love to see our recipes leave the page! Liz x