This is my entry for this Month's No Croutons Required. NCR is a little bit special this month. I teamed up with Dom over at Belleau Kitchen and so No Croutons Required Does Random Recipes was born.

This month you have to select a random soup recipe, make it and post it for our challenge. Randomly select a soup from one of your cookbooks, but remember it has to be suitable for vegetarians. You have until the 29th of November to submit an entry. You can find all the details here.

For my random recipe I decided to use the 30-Minute Vegetarian by Johanna Farrow. A much under-used book on my bookshelf. It is a pocket sized (A5)cookbook filled with lots of appetising meals that are great for an after work meal. The polenta chips with saffron mushrooms looks great as do the couscous fritters with beetroot and creme fraiche and the cranberry, oatmeal and cinnamon scones. I really must re-visit this cookbook more often. It has some real gems in it.

My friend Andrew did the hunt for the recipes and Graham picked a number. I had to disregard the first pick as it had butter beans in it and I have a real phobia about butter beans after an incident as a child. But, the second soup was the Fresh Ginger & Parsnip and I was happy to give that one a go. I added ground cumin to the recipe as I felt it needed some spice to counter the sweetness of the parsnips. It isn't going to be one of my favourite soups, but it was pleasant enough and I enjoyed some lovely homemade bread with it.

I didn't manage to get in touch with Joanna to ask her permission, but I am publishing the recipe, with full credit and links in the hope that she won't mind.

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Fresh Ginger & Parsnip Soup
A slightly sweet creamy soup with a kick of spice from the fresh ginger and the extra cumin I added.
  • 25g/1oz butter
  • 50g/2oz fresh root ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of spring onions
  • 500g/1 lb parsnips, sliced
  • 1 litre/ 1 ¼ pints vegetable stock
  • 1 - 2 tsp ground cumin
  • a good grinding of salt & pepper
  • a dollop of greek yoghurt to serve
  • a sprinkling of cayenne pepper to serve
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the ginger and fry gently for 1 minute. Roughly chop the remainder and add to the pan with the parsnips. Fry gently for 2 minutes.2. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes until the parsnips are tender.3. Transfer the soup to a food processor or blender and process until smooth, or leave the soup in the pan and use a hand-held electric blender.4. Return the soup to the pan, Add the cumin and stir well. Warm the soup through for a minute, then season to taste.I served my soup with a dollop of greek yoghurt and a sprinkling of cayenne pepper, but you could use creme fraiche and scatter some finely sliced spring onion on top.
Total time: Yield: Serves 4

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