cloves, finely chopped
5oz parsnips, cut into 1cm/½-inch cubes
dried red chilli flakes, plus extra to serve
litre/1¾ pints hot vegetable stock
oz double cream
freshly ground black pepper
For the croûtons
slices good bread, such as sourdough, cut into 2.5cm/1 inch pieces
Gruyère cheese, finely grated (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and
parsnips and fry for 4–5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until coloured. Add
the chilli and fry for 1 minute.
Pour in the stock, stir and bring to a simmer. Cook with the lid on for 12–15
minutes, or until the parsnips are tender.
Meanwhile, for the croûtons, put the bread on a baking tray in a single layer
and drizzle with the oil. Sprinkle over the cheese, if using, and season with
salt and pepper. Bake for 5–10 minutes, or until crisp and golden.
Remove the soup from the heat and blitz with a stick blender until smooth.
Return to the heat, stir in the cream and heat through.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the soup topped with the croûtons
and a sprinkling of chilli flakes if you wish.