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Parsnip and Fava Soup with Cheese and Oat Scones

  A quick and delicious lunchtime soup, pairing the sweetness of parsnips with earthy Split Fava Beans.

Parsnip and Fava Soup with Cheese and Oat Scones

Split fava beans are perfect for lunch in a rush – you can go from staring into the larder blankly to having a meal on the table in half an hour or so. This recipe comes from just such a lunch. There's no need to follow the recipe precisely – it works just fine as a set of general principles and the combination of fava beans and parsnips is a real winner.

The recipe also involves a pressure cooker. If you don’t have one, get one! If you have one at the back of a cupboard get it out and dust it down… and if you feel slightly nervous about the whole idea of cooking at pressure, don’t – the days of wobbly, hissy, possibly explosive cookers are long gone.

Ingredients for the Soup

  • 250g Split Fava Beans
  • 500g parsnips (3 biggish roots)
  • olive oil
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tea-spoon rosemary
  • 1 tea-spoon sage
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 stock cube
  • salt and pepper

Ingredients for the Scones

  • 115g rolled oats
  • 115g self raising flour
  • 60g butter
  • 60g grated cheese
  • 140ml milk
  • 1 tea-spoon baking powder
  • ½ tea-spoon mustard powder
  • salt and pepper

Method for the Soup

  1. Coarsely chop the onion and garlic and sauté in the pressure cooker, wash and then chop the parsnips into cubes and add them to the onions and garlic.
  2. Cook for a few minutes before adding the fava beans, then cook for a few more minutes.
  3. Add the herbs.
  4. Cover with stock – the beans will swell up, so a good few pints.
  5. Put the lid on the cooker, bring to pressure and cook for 10 or 15 minutes.
  6. When you open the cooker (I quick-cooled mine under the cold tap) you’ll find the beans and parsnips have cooked to a paste and it shouldn’t be necessary to get the stick blender out.
  7. Add extra stock until the soup is as thick as you prefer, taste and season.

Method for the Scones

  1. Rub the butter into the oats, flour, mustard and baking powder.
  2. Add the cheese, a few twists of pepper and a couple of pinches of salt; mix well.
  3. Gradually add the milk until you have a ball of sticky dough – at this stage it’s easier to mix with a palette or table knife.
  4. Roll out to about 3cm thick on a floured surface, use a cutter or the top of a glass to make 4 or 5 scones.
  5. Place the scones on a greased tray, glaze with a little milk and bake at 180C for 10 or 12 minutes (until brown)

Tips

You can spend a lot of money on a very fancy pressure cooker – and the more up market models will give you a little more control – but my very basic Prestige has served me well (albeit with a bit of guessing on cooking times now and then). Catherine Phipps in her excellent The Pressure Cooker Cookbook recommends going for a larger volume cooker – 6 or 6.5 ltr if you can, it’ll save money and give you more flexibility in the long run.




Nick Saltmarsh
Nick Saltmarsh

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