I was really inspired by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s recent War On Waste programme. It’s alarming how much of our food we throw away and even more alarming how much of it is totally avoidable. Not only are we ditching perfectly edible food (and money), we are now arguing with mother nature herself, demanding that she produce only perfect looking vegetables.
I don’t know about you, but I favour a wonky looking carrot any day! I’m suspicious of any of those perfect parsnips out there, in the same way I am suspicious of any human being who offers the same premise. I’m a wonky carrot and proud of it! Isn’t it about time we stopped putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves to be something we’re not? And if we must get narcissistic about it and spend hours gazing at ourselves in front of the mirror, there’s no need to give parsnips a hard time – they’re just doing what they do best and being a parsnip.
I was brought to tears when the parsnip farmers on Hugh’s programme had to give up years of farming because they were no longer able to meet demand from Morrison’s supermarket and their needs for perfection. The mound of rejected parsnips broke my heart – IT’S UNACCEPTABLE!! By way of tribute to that lovely family (and the parsnips god rest their souls) I would like to post this picture of a parsnip from my very own garden. Now I must confess I do not profess to being an avid gardener, so I’m sure it was entirely my own doing, but this is what mother nature produced and who am I to argue with her?!
So to celebrate life’s imperfections (and my own in relation to gardening and being human) my first leftovers recipe is carrot and parsnip soup with parsley and carrot tops – yes you heard me correctly waste not want not and they taste delicious!
In my usual gung ho approach (you know I don’t do measurements) here’s the recipe:
Mutant carrots x 8 chopped
Mutant parsnip x (difficult to say probably the equivalent of one medium sized ‘perfect’ one) chopped
2 cloves chopped garlic
Carrot tops sliced
Small handful of chopped parsley
Fresh ground coriander seeds (or already ground)
Approx 700ml vegetable stock
Fry onions and garlic
Add coriander seeds
Add carrots and parsnips
Add stock and cook on a medium heat for about 20 minutes
Add carrot tops and cook for another 10
Serve and garnish with parsley and a drizzle of olive oil – delicious!
Now there’s nothing about that bowl of soup that needs cosmetic surgery!
You can watch Hugh’s programme here …..tissues at the ready!