Parsnip soup with Rocquette Cider

A deliciously rich and warming autumn soup. You can finish this in all sorts of ways, but I like to scatter some butter-fried diced apple and a few thyme leaves on top. You could make a similarly delicious soup with pumpkin or squash.

Serves four.

1 tbsp olive oil 

1 knob butter 

1 large onion, peeled and chopped 

500g parsnips 

2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced 

250ml Rocquette Cider 

500ml vegetable or chicken stock 

1 large sprig fresh thyme 

50ml single or double cream (optional) 

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sweat the onion gently for a few minutes while you prepare the parsnips. Peel them, quarter them lengthways (remove the cores if tough or woody), and roughly chop. Add to the onion with the garlic, and sweat, stirring a few times, for five to 10 minutes.

Pour in the Rocquette Cider and stock, add the thyme sprig, bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, until the parsnips are soft. Remove the thyme, then liquidise the soup, adding a splash more stock (or water) if you think it needs it, but keeping it nice and thick. Return the soup to the pan, stir in the cream (if using) and adjust the seasoning to taste. Reheat if necessary and serve sprinkled with croutons, bits of crisp bacon or some little cubes of fried apple.