This unusual combination gives a surprisingly delicious and creamy soup with subtle Thai flavours.
This soup was created as a result of what was in the fridge that needed using up - at this time of year, after the weekend has passed (think roast dinners), things like parsnips tend to get sold off cheap and can be just too much of a bargain to resist at times! (I might just happen to have a bit of a 'yellow sticker' habit!).
So I thought I'd do something a bit different with them for a change, and it turned out delicious! If you're not the biggest fan of parsnips, don't worry, the flavour is very delicate - they mostly just add a velvety, creamy texture to the soup. Or feel free to substitute with something like sweet potatoes, butternut squash or similar (remembering to adjust the calories if you're counting).
Serves six to eight, 135 to180 calories per portion (a smaller portion is around 275g if dividing into eight, a larger portion is around 370g if dividing into six). Chicken is extra.
[Calories in square brackets]
- 4 parsnips (450g) 
- 2 large or 3 medium leeks (350g) 
- 25g coconut oil (or oil of choice) 
- 1.2 litres chicken stock (or use vegetable if you want to make this vegetarian/vegan - Knorr do gluten free) 
- 1 inch ginger root, grated 
- 1 lemon (zest and juice) 
- 1 tsp ground turmeric (or grate an inch of fresh) 
- 200ml coconut milk 
- 1 large handful coriander leaves 
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 small boneless skinless chicken breasts (250g)  - see notes below
1. Peel the parsnips and clean the leeks, removing any tough outer leaves. Cut into slices approximately 1/2cm thick (or cut into large chunks and pulse into medium dice in a food processor if you prefer - Thermomix 2 seconds / Speed 5, repeat for 1-2 seconds if necessary). If you want to add chicken, see notes below.
2. Melt the oil, and add the vegetables. Cook for about 5 minutes without browning, then add the stock, ginger, lemon zest and turmeric. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender.
3. Add the lemon juice and coconut milk, and blend until smooth using a liquidiser, food processor or stick blender (Thermomix 2 minutes / Speed 9, turn up slowly).
4. Finely chop most of the coriander, reserving a little for garnish, stir into the soup, then season to taste with salt and pepper. If using chicken, add the chicken to the bowl first, pour over the soup, then garnish with a little fresh coriander and enjoy!
If you would like to add chicken, before starting to cook the soup put the two chicken breasts in a pan in a single layer, add a pinch of salt, and cover with cold water by a couple of inches. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through (check the thickest part). Remove the chicken once cooked, leave to rest for a few minutes, then either shred, or slice into bite sized pieces.
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