Starter: serves 4. Total time: 45 minutes plus 3 hours roasting
900 g/2 lb beetroot
225 g/8 oz parsnip
1/2 cooking apple
150 ml/5 fl oz sour cream
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
lemon juice
sea salt,
black pepper

Preheat the oven to 160C fan oven or 170C/325F electric oven/Gas 3. Wash the beetroots carefully, place in a baking dish and cover with foil.

Cook for 3 hours, then skin them and reduce to a coarse purée in a food processor. Peel the parsnip and apple and cut into 1 cm/ 1/2 inch cubes.

Steam the parsnip for 10 minutes and the apple for 3-4 minutes. Purée the beetroot, parsnip and apple with the sour cream in a liquidizer until smooth. Add the vinegar, a few drops of lemon juice and season. Reheat to serve. If using a particularly good balsamic vinegar, add it at the end.