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Friday 6 January 2012


I had a couple of requests for the recipe for the oaty cherry/raisin cookies I made at the weekend (see above), and for the Parsnip and Apple Soup. So thought I'd share it here too.

Parsnip and Apple Soup (sorry attribution unknown! Got it from the web years ago)
20g butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion
3 medium parsnips
2 apples (cooking or dessert, if using large cooking apple, need only one. Also slightly less sweet than with a dessert apple)
1/2 teaspoon each of ground cumin and ground nutmeg
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (though I used dried)
1 litre vegetable stock (i use a cube)
To season to taste - salt and freshly ground black pepper
To season to taste - ground nutmeg
Optional 2-3 tablespoons cream or creme fraiche

Peel and chop the parsnips and onion and peel, core and chop the apples. Melt butter and oil in pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, parsnips and apples and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring now and then.  Add the cumin, nutmet and thyme and cook for a couple more minutes, then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until te parsnip is soft. Add a little ot water if the consistency is a little too thick. (Mine wasn't!)

With a stick blender or liquidiser blend until smooth, stir in cream or creme fraiche, season and serve. Sprinkle on pumpkin seeds (or whatever).

Oaty Cherry/Raisin Cookies (from BBC Books Good Food 101 Cakes & Homebakes)
250g/90z butter, softened
50g/2 oz caster sugar
100g/3.5 oz light muscovado sugar
150g/5.5 oz self-raising flour
225g/8oz porridge oats
200g/7oz glacĂ© cherries
50g/2oz raisins

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C/Gas4/fan oven 160 degrees C.
2. Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with non-stick baking paper
3. In a bowl, beat the butter and sugars together till light and fluffy
4. Stir in the flour and oats and mix well.
5. Roughly chop three quarters of the cherries, then stir these and the whole cherries and raisins into the oat mixture. (At this point the mixture looks quite dry but it's fine!)
6. Divide the mixture into 18 equal portions (actually I made 26!). Roughly shape each portion into a ball.
 7. Put on baking sheets well apart to allow for spreading. Lightly flatten each biscuit with your fingertips, keeping the mixture quite rough looking.
8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the cookies are pale golden around the edges but still feel soft in the centre.
9. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

Store any uncooked mixture in the fridge for up to one week, or freeze on the day for up to six months, defrosting before baking.



  1. Oh, yum, Sian! Many thanks for taking the trouble to post these. I have a slightly different recipe for parsnip and apple soup which doesn't include onion and which uses cloves and sage for seasoning, so I'll be interested to try your version. As it happens I have parsnips in the fridge....

    DH and I both love anything with oats, so I'll be making these as soon as we've finished the last of the Christmas baking.

  2. Yum, thank you, Sian! I just got a pile of parsnips from the garden today, so I'll be trying the soup recipe this weekend - perfect timing. And I might see if little J will help me bake cookies - he loves baking, especially the licking spoons bit!

  3. Perpetua - enjoy. YOu may want to spice up the soup a bit more. I don't go in for spicy food and it was fine for me, but I suspect others might want it a bit spicier. Enjoy the biscuits! I'm going to make some more this weekend, I enjoyed them so much.

    DB - Ooh hope you like it. Think you too might like it a bit spicier. I'm sure J will enjoy helping to make the biscuits - they are suitably "gooey" at the mixing stage. And yummy when bakes too!