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The swede's sweet flavour gets even better when it's roasted. Choose ones that are firm, solid and feel heavy for their size. For best results skin them with a knife rather than a peeler.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Place the cubes of swede in a roasting tray. Drizzle over two tablespoons of the olive oil and season.
Roast in oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and tender, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large heavy-based saucepan, stir in the onion, carrots, celery, garlic and thyme leaves and fry for 4-5 minutes until softened but not browned.
Add the roasted swede to the pan and pour over the stock.
Bring gently to the boil, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Purée the soup in a food processor or liquidiser until completely smooth. Pass through a sieve for an extra fine texture if preferred.
Transfer the soup back to a clean saucepan. Stir in most of the cream, reserving some for garnishing. Gently heat through and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Serve in warm bowls or a soup tureen and garnish with a swirl of cream, some fresh thyme leaves and freshly ground black pepper.
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