Mine are the variety "Panache F1". They seem to be doing pretty well. I know the roots would get bigger if I left them, but I like to harvest them when they are still young and tender.
It is alleged that Parsnips taste sweeter after the first frosts (something about the frost converting starch to sugar...), but mine don't need it. They are really sweet already, despite the fact that we have not yet had a frost. Not everyone likes the taste or the smell of Parsnips, but I love them. In fact I wouldn't mind a perfume made of Parsnip essence! :-)
This batch was harvested on the same day as some more beans - Runners and French - and some Catalogna chicory for a salad. I have never before harvested Runner beans in the second week of November.
My Parsnips were in a pan cooking about half an hour after being harvested (and that half hour was only because I wanted to photograph them), so they couldn't have been fresher. They went into Curried Parsnip Soup. The intense flavour and sweetness of the Parsnips contrasts well with the warm spiciness of the curry powder.
The soup is very easy to make:-
- Soften a peeled and chopped onion in some vegetable oil over a low heat
- When the onions are nearly ready (cooked but not browned) add a couple of cloves of garlic and cook for another minute or so
- Peel and chop the Parsnips (approx 450 g / 1lb)
- Put the Parsnips into the pan and add about a litre of stock
- Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of curry powder, according to taste
- Bring to the boil and simmer for about 45 minutes
- Allow to cool slightly, then liquidise / blend to the desired consistency. (Add water if necessary)
- Serve garnished with a drizzle of chilli oil, and accompanied by some good bread. (Naan would be good, if you have some...)