I get my portion sizes from my family, on all sides. I am incapable (okay.. unwilling sometimes) to just cook enough for two, four or six people, depending on the occasion. I fear that “not enough” vibe around the dinner table. And so, I take after my grandma (who had five sons!) and my mum (who cooks for at least six, every time. Even though we were never more than a family of four!).
And this is especially true when making roast dinners. Any serving suggestion for roasted anything might as well never have been suggested. I once cooked enough roast potatoes to feed, in my rough calculations, about 8-10 people.
They served five. A certain person (not me, for the record!) just kept piling them on when I offered them around the table! In the end, I had to take them away so we could all have some… awkward moment. But quite complimentary, I think.
So yes, roast vegetables – potatoes, parsnips and babycorn (my mum does this awesome trick where she basically coats the latter two in honey. OMG.) are always in abundance on the rare occasion I myself cook a roast dinner. And there’s sometimes some left too – and I whip out this recipe when it’s time to transform them into something different because well, there are only so many days in a week one can eat roast parsnips.
Using up those leftovers
And can we take a minute to mention the unmentionable soggy, reheated roasted parsnip debacle? Yuck! Is there anything worse or more disappointing in the leftovers scale? So much potential… wasted. And so originally, that’s where this recipe for roast parsnip soup came from. Soggy parsnips. I just couldn’t do it! Then I fumbled blindly around in a cupboard at the time and found a bag of cooked chestnuts looking lost and lonely at the back. History, as they say, was made.
No cooked chestnuts? Don’t panic!
Now, before you panic – sometimes I can get hold of pre-cooked chestnuts, sometimes I can’t. When I most recently made this recipe, I couldn’t find them anywhere, so I roasted my own! If you can’t find any precooked chestnuts, or you’ve got one too many bags of raw chestnuts from the Christmas period, I’ve included instructions for roasting your own (as I had to), in the recipe as well. Plus some steps to roast parsnips, in case you have fresh, so you never have to deprive yourself of this velvety, smooth bowl of yummy chestnut and roast parsnip soup.
Vegan Chestnut & Roast Parsnip Soup
Luci Rebecca, Made by Luci
- Prep: 5 minutes
- Cook: 20 minutes
- Total: 25 minutes
- Serves 4-5
- Calories 172
- 1/2 tsp oil (olive, vegetable, sunflower etc), + 1/2 tsp if using raw parsnips
- 1 leek, trimmed and sliced (~150g)
- 5 leftover roast parsnips (see note), chopped into chunks (~550g peeled and raw)
- 200g cooked chestnuts
- 1.25 litres of vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce (or vegan alternative, like coconut aminos)
- 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- For precooked chestnuts and parsnips
- Put a large saucepan on a medium heat and add about 1/2 tsp oil. Add the chopped leek, give it a good stir and cover the pan. Leave to sweat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes (until well softened, but not brown).
- Add the roasted parsnips, cooked chestnuts and vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and blend. I use a stick blender for this to save on washing up a blender too!
- Put back on a low heat, add the soy sauce and white wine vinegar, stir and taste. Season accordingly.
- Serve with chunky bread and devour.
- For raw chestnuts and/or parsnips
- Preheat your oven to 200°C (180°C fan).
- Raw parsnips: Add the 1/2 tsp oil to a roasting tin, chuck in your chopped parsnips and toss about a bit to get them coated in the oil. Pop in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes, until tender.
- Raw chestnuts: Score a cross in the skin of each one. Try and make them larger rather than smaller, and try to almost pierce with hard shell (I find this helps with the peeling!). Place in a roasting tin and roast for about 25 minutes, until the skins break open and you can see the cream-coloured chestnut inside.
- Raw chestnuts: Give them a minute or two to cool and then peel off the hard shell and fuzzy layer - if the chestnuts are properly cooked, both should come away quite easily. If a lot aren't, return the chestnuts to the oven for another 5 mintues.
- Then follow the instructions above - start cooking the leek about when you start peeling chestnuts.
NOTES * By 5 leftover parsnips, I mean the equivalent of 5 WHOLE parsnips, not slices.