parsnip and pea soup with walnut pesto



2 shallots

2 celery stalks

4 medium parsnips, or 3 large

4 sprigs fresh thyme

25g butter

500g frozen peas

1l hot chicken stock


For the walnut pesto 

80g walnuts

1 cloves garlic

25g Parmesan, plus extra for grating

1 small bunch Parsley (approx 25g)

125ml olive oil

1. Peel and finely chop the shallots, chop the celery and peel and grate the parsnips.

2. Heat the butter and a splash of olive oil in a large, wide saucepan.  Add the thyme, shallots and celery.  Allow to cook out briefly before adding the grated   parsnips. Season with salt and pepper.  Add the peas and pour in the stock.

3. Cover and allow to simmer for 4 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.

4. Use a jug (or stick) blender to liquidize the soup to a smooth  and creamy purée.

5. Return to a low heat, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary but bear in mind you will be        adding the pesto at the end.

6. To make the pesto, roughly chop the parsley and blitz with the walnuts and garlic in a food processor.

Then grate in the Parmesan, add the oil and    blitz again. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary .

7. Pour the soup into warm bowls.  Spoon in a little of the pesto. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on top and grate over a little extra Parmesan.