Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan and gently fry the onion and garlic until soft but not coloured. Add the spices and continue to fry over a low heat for another minute.
Meanwhile scrub the parsnips , slice off their tops and tails and peel. Cut into small dice and stir into the spiced onions ensuring they are well coated in the oil.
Cover and cook over a moderately low heat for 5 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent them from catching.
Peel, core and dice the apples and mix into the parsnips. Cover and cook for a further five minutes, stirring now and then.
Add the water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, season to taste and simmer for thirty minutes or until the parsnip is meltingly soft.
Liquidize and strain the soup then chill, covered until you need it.
When you are ready to serve reheat the soup before adding the cream. Add a little water if you prefer a thinner soup but once the cream is added do not allow the soup to boil. Sprinkle with the chives and serve piping hot.