Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Wild rice and parsnip soup

Hey, have you heard of 'forbidden black rice'? I have to admit, the first I had heard of it was about three days ago. Its funny an ingredient that is so popular in another culture is overlooked in the West because of its unfamiliarity, until - Until of course, it becomes trendy. As well as its enchanting name, forbidden black rice is being marketed as the new wonder of health foods.

And guess what? Yes, I too get sucked in now and again, especially as I like trying out new worldly ingredients. I am certain I will find it at some point to try, but for now I will be using the 'wild rice' stored in my kitchen cupboards which actually looks kind of similar. I actually think wild rice is overlooked in the grain world. I can partly understand why? Its like wholesome brown rice. It takes a while to cook from scratch and if your not in your angelic be patient persona, well then its often ignored for the quick cooking variety.
Other than Jane Grigsons famous Curried Parsnip soup, I think this 'Parsnip and wild rice soup' is my perhaps my second favourite parsnip soup. I’ve been looking for an excuse to post it on my blog again. Well the perfect excuse came in the guise of this months No Croutons Required (NCR) challenge. NCR is a monthly food blogging event where readers are challenged to create either a soup or salad using a particular ingredient in this case it is rice. The recipe also has to be suitable for vegetarians. NCR is alternately hosted between the Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen, who is this months host.

This soup is flavourful, unctuous and naturally creamy. The wild rice gives this soup some texture, as well as colour of what otherwise could be described as a monotone dish.
Parsnip and wild rice soup
Serves 4
50g wild rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
400g parsnips, peeled and diced
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons of curry powder
2 pints of vegetable stock made with 1 teaspoon of bouillon powder
Optional: 4 tablespoons of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Place the wild rice in a pan. Add 450ml of water to cover the rice, bring to the boil, then reduce heat, and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes until the rice is tender. Drain. Or if using quick cook wild rice, cook according to packet instructions.
Heat the oil in a separate pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry over a low heat for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the parsnips, turmeric, and curry powder, and cook for a couple of minutes, to allow the spices to mingle and release their fragrances.
Pour in the stock. Stir well. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and allow to simmer for 40 minutes, or until the parsnips are tender.
Blend the cooled ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Season to taste. Return the soup to the pan, bring to a boil, stir in the wild rice and coriander. Serve in bowls. Adapted from Paul Gaylers Vegetarian Cookbook.
Updated 11th February 2011
This recipe was made by Amber at Fishes go meow. Please follow this link to view


  1. Must give that a try - we had parsnip and crab apple soup tonight and I don't think I will make it again as it was a cross between a savoury and a dessert! Good job I didn't have the cream that it should have had swirled into it or I really might have thought it was pudding!!


  2. Jane,
    I was intrigued by the parsnip and crab apple combo. You know its perfectly acceptable to have a 'sweet soup' :) Though I have to admit, I am a savoury girl when it comes to soup.

  3. Forbidden wild rice! Certainly an appealing name!! I have never tried wild rice but I see that I should!
    I loved looking through your blog! Some great recipes and ideas!

  4. Black rice isn't common in Estonia either, it took my father really long to find it. I'm glad we have found forbidden black rice, because we don't have popular vegan foods like quinoa, chia seeds, etc. found everywhere. And they're quite expensive. Why are all things what are good for us so pricey? Like Lush products which I'd really like to try more (I have tried only The Blonde solid shampoo and Happy Hippy shower gel this far, and loving both!). But I don't use them so much, so I think I can afford them. (I have to go shopping now...)

    This challenge sounds like a lot of fun!

    I have never used parsnip in my soups. I even don't know where to find some. At grocery store? And I love to eat wild rice. My father made some one day and it was so delicious!

    I love the Scrabble title! One of my favourite board games, definitely!

    Love, Lela

  5. Sorry sorry sorry, I made a mistake in the first comment: I do know parsnip! It's found at many grocery stores here. A translation mistake! :)

  6. This sounds yummy! I love the idea of adding wild rice to soup.

  7. I love wild rice, absolutely love it, am always looking into new recipes for it. I'm ashamed to say I don't use parsnips that often as I never know what to do with them, might have to remedy that when winter comes to us due to this lovely recipe :)

  8. Thank you So, so much Marcellina.

    Thansk for letting me know LeLa.
    Its always interesting to read whats common or not in some places. It wasd good of your father to find you some. Quinoa is easily available in the UK now, but I have to admit I have not seen chia seeds yet.

    You should enter the NCR challenge LeLa = its a good way to get visitors too.

    PS Understand your mistake with parsnips, lost in translation :)
    Scrabble is my favourite board games.

    Thank you Charlie.

    Thank you Emma.
    I have to admit, I only tend to cook with parsnips because my husband loves the sweetness. Its not a veg i grew up eating, but I do love this soup.

  9. I'd love to try this challenge, but unfortunately I'm not good at writing recipes in English.

  10. Lela.
    Your English is fantastic. I have no doubt in your ability to write or translate a recipe into English, so I am encouraging you to participate in next months NCR (unless of course the ingredient is hard to get hold of like Quinoa, but I think that challenge has been done). A number of people who participate in food blog events first language is not English. So I have absolute faith in you. Only advice for first time, keep it simple. Also its about participating, having fun - rather than the winning, but that part is nice too :)

  11. Thanks for the compliment! I'm glad you have faith in me! I'll try to take part in next month's NCR. That will also motivate me too cook more! :)

  12. Lela.
    Its not just a compliment. It is the truth.

  13. forbidden black rice sounds intriguing - I will be looking out for it now

    and that soup sounds lovely - I love parsnips in soup

  14. Johanna.
    I agree that the black rice does sound intriguing.

    This soup is really a must to make.

  15. It looks tasty as all get-out. I now have a reason to try growing parsnips!

  16. Thank you Rosey.
    Good luck with parsnip growing. Its been hit and miss with me.


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