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Parsnip & pear soup with scallops

Place a pan of slightly salted water to the boil and preheat the oven to 180°C.

Peel and roughly chop 3 of the parsnips and add to the pan. Peel and remove the core of the pears, reserving a quarter beforehand to slice later for the topping, then add to the pan. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the parsnip has softened through, this should be roughly 15 minutes.

With the remaining parsnip, slice into lengths and place in an oven tray along with a drizzle of rapeseed oil and a sprinkle of salt. Roast for roughly 40 minutes or until look done.

Drain the water from the parsnips and pears and place in a blender. Add the milk, butter, nutmeg and season well; blitz until smooth. Return to the pan and place on a medium to low heat, gently simmering until ready to serve. I prefer this thick but you can add a little more milk if you would like it more sloppy.

Place a frying pan on a medium to high heat with a little oil in. Remove the roe from the scallop, if still attached, sprinkle with a little salt then place the scallops in the frying pan. Fry for roughly one minute on each side, a little longer if big ones.

To plate, take two soup bowls, spoon some of the parsnip and pear soup in first then lay on top some of the roasted parsnips, scallops and the reserved piece of pear, sliced into thin strips. Crack a little black pepper and nutmeg over to taste and a drizzle of rapeseed oil to finish.

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As you may have gathered from some of my previous recipes, I love to sneak fruit into savoury dishes, more often with more gamey or heavier dishes to cut through with a bit of sweetness. Although this is quite a light dish, the sweetness from the pear is quite mellow and works really well with the parsnip.

…a good pair…

The soup part of this dish is actually something that I have cooked many times before as a side to have with a Sunday roast pork, just with roughly half the amount of milk so that it is more of a puréed mash. Always goes down well!

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Bentwitch, Devon
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