This warming seasonal soup by Luke Tipping is spiced up a little with the addition of the classic onion bhaji.
Melt the butter in a pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion and curry powder, and fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add the celery and parsnip and cook for another for 5-6 minutes then add the pear to the pan.
Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 35-40 minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and pour in the low fat natural yogurt, then pour everything into a blender and blend until smooth. Pass the soup through a sieve into a pan, season and set aside.
To make the bhajis, add the onions to a bowl, scatter over the salt and leave for 4-5 minutes. The onion should release some liquid and soften slightly.
Add the turmeric, coriander, cumin and gram flour to the onions and get the kids to mix, using a spatula to form a paste. If the mixture is a little dry, add a dash of cold water to bring it together.
Heat the oil in a deep pan to 170°C. If you don’t have a thermometer, pop a cube of white bread into the oil - if the bread burns after 40 seconds, it is too hot and you need to reduce the heat in order to cool the oil. If the bread hasn’t coloured after 40 seconds, it is too cool and needs further heating. The temperature is perfect when the cube of bread turns a light golden-brown after the 40 seconds. Use a serving spoon to drop little balls of the onion mixture into the oil.
Cook for 2-3 minutes until crisp and golden. Remove the bhajis from the oil with a slotted spoon and leave to drain on some kitchen paper.
To make the curry oil, heat a dry frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the curry powder to toast slightly for 1-2 minutes. Pour the rapeseed oil into the pan and heat slowly for 3-4 minutes.
Remove from the heat and pass through a fine strainer if you have one.
Reheat the soup on the stove over a low heat, just before serving.
Divide the soup between bowls. Pop a bhaji into the centre of the soup, then pour over some curry oil and serve immediately.
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