This story is for Jeannie, who asked 🌿 You can make this any time of year, from parsnips in the freezer, but right now is a great time to pull the ‘snips and make it fresh.
JUMP right to the recipe 😎
Basic seasonal pairings
umbellifers parsnip carrot parsley coriander

One principle I have learned about growing, making and eating seasonally, is to keep easy seasonal pairings in mind, so that you know you always have go-to food to make with what is being harvested right now.

There are lots of different versions of what to plant, and when, but we have settled on a one-veg-family-per-month Level Zero routine that plants members of the Umbellifer family in late February.  Parsnips, carrots, parsley, coriander, caraway and fennel go in, though not all in the same bed, and they all do tend to go together well in cooking, which is super handy.

Coriander and carrot, parsnip and parsley and caraway, fennel and parsley, carrot and caraway as well – they all play well. If you have a basic stock-based soup and a creamy soup up your sleeve, then you have plenty of options.

My go-to book for basic seasonal cooking

Basic, flexible recipes, written in a way that understands seasonal growing, harvesting and storage, is the key. I learned a lot from my fav garden-to-plate book. ‘Grower’s Market’, by Leanne Kitchen. Sadly out of print, we do have some copies available if you are keen, available HERE. It is a rippa book, and where the basis for my parsnip recipe comes from.

👍 Start with the basic creamy parsnip soup, and then change it up, as we do. The picture in the recipe below has bacon, maple, parsley and (home made) seeded mustard in it, with heaps of cracked pepper on top and shaved parmesan.  Paired with Caraway bread (just a simple seed bread recipe but with fresh caraway seed – oh stop it!!!)

Autumn Parsnip Soup

Base Ingredients

● 1 kg parsnip, chunky chopped (or carrot, or fennel)
● 1 litre veg stock (homemade or bought both fine)
● 1 onion chopped, or equivalent onion greens
● 200 ml milk or cream (as rich as you like it)
● 30g butter, or equivalent olive oil
● Optional meat component (eg. bacon, chorizo, pork sausage)
● Optional herb component (eg. parsley, caraway, fennel)
● Optional extra component (eg. seeded mustard, horseradish, honey, maple)

● Melt butter in the pan, or use olive oil
● Add onion and cook until tender but not brown
● Add parsnip and stock and bring to boil, then simmer for 30 min
● RESERVE about a cup of this mix for the crumble later; press rest into bottom of pan.
FRUIT: Spread fruit evenly over base;sprinkle with extra sugar if you like.
CRUMBLE: Add extra crumble ingredients to reserved base and mix/wizz (or TMX 5sec/Sp4 and repeat if necessary) til topping is crumbly
● Spread over fruit layer – NOT pressed down – this is the crusty top)
● Bake 35-45 min until top is golden; cool before lifting and slicing

Look wide; grow well, folks 🌿