Seasonal local food recipe No.186 – Parsley soup

You will need a lot of parsley for this delicious deep green soup, so don’t be put off by the quantity. If you haven’t got quite enough parsley, add some baby spinach, chard or spring cabbage leaves at the final blanching stage before you purée it. Take care not to overcook the parsley so the flavour remains fresh.

Serves: 4-6
Preparation/cooking time: 30-35 minutes

2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil and/or butter
1 large bunch (125-150g) parsley, washed
750ml chicken or vegetable stock
300g potatoes, peeled and chopped
salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice

Start by cutting off the parsley stalks and chopping them roughly. Heat the oil or butter gently in a large pan and tip in the onion and parsley stalks. Soften on a low heat for about 10 minutes without browning, then add the garlic and potato and stir for a minute or so. Pour in the stock and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until potato just cooked.

Meanwhile, divide the parsley into two. Roughly chop one half and put it to one side. Once the potato is cooked, add the chopped parsley and cook for just one minute longer. Take off the heat immediately and pour the soup into a large bowl to stop it cooking any further.

Blanch the remaining parsley – pour boiling water over it, leave it for barely 30 seconds, then put it into a sieve and cool under the cold tap. Add the blanched parsley to the soup then blend it to a smooth purée.

Pour the soup back into the saucepan, add a squeeze of lemon, check the seasoning and reheat it gently. If you like a creamier texture, swirl in some cream or crême fraiche before serving.

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