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Scrub and roughly chop and the potatoes. (I never peel potatoes for mashing – life is too short.) Put the potatoes and parsnips into a large pan of salted water, bring to a boil and cook until tender – about 20 minutes. Drain the vegetables, leaving them in the colander until the steam has died down and they are properly dried. Tip them back into the empty pan and mash with the butter. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add the herbs, then sift in the flour and mix with a wooden spoon to form a rough dough.
Lightly flour a work surface. Take one-third of the dough and knead it lightly into a ball, then use the heel of your hand to press it into a 13cm/ disc that is just under 1cm hick. It’s important to keep the work surface well-floured as the mixture can be sticky.
Heat a non-stick frying pan or griddle over medium heat. Slide in the potato cake (you do not need to add any oil or butter) and cook for 2½–3 minutes until golden brown underneath, then flip over and cook for another 2½–3 minutes. The farl will start to puff up slightly when they’re done. Cut the farl into four with a spatula (the word ‘farl’ comes from the Gaelic word for ‘four’, according to Jonny) and keep warm in a low oven. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Serve with roasted tomatoes, fried eggs and sausages (or leave out the sausages for a vegetarian version). You could also add other vegetables from your container garden, for example some wilted spinach, or peppers added in with the tomatoes when roasting.