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I love making soup.  As well as feeling virtuous for making something homely and healthy, it usually gives me the opportunity to use up the wizened old pieces of veg that are knocking about.  I’m sure they sit there (in my little world where I believe vegetables have feelings), thinking they’ve got no chance of being picked compared to the handsome crunchy specimens they’re sharing a shelf with.  However the sad fact is, those pieces will probably sit there until they’re wrinkled and waiting to be made into soup too.  I really must improve my stock rotation!

This one was adapted from a puree I used to make my kids when they were tiny.  It’s nice and filling, so doesn’t really need to be served with bread, but if serving soup without bread just seems wrong, I’d go with some toasted pitta or flatbread.

Spicy Parsnip and Sweet Potato Soup (Serves 4):


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1 eating apple, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp of curry powder (mild or hotter, depending on your taste)
  • 4 heaped tbsp red lentils (rinsed)
  • 600ml chicken/veg stock – a couple of stock cubes (or 2 x tsps Marigold Bouillon for gluten free) with hot water is fine
  • 300 ml semi-skimmed milk
  • Small bunch of coriander
  • 1 lime
  • salt and pepper


  1. Fry the onion in the oil for a couple of minutes on a medium heat, then add the garlic, ginger and curry powder and fry for a minute more.
  2. Add the sweet potato, parsnip and apple, fry for a minute to coat them in the curry mixture, then add the lentils, milk and stock.  For a bit of extra flavour, chop the coriander stalks and add them in.  Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer gently for 20-25 mins.
  3. Take the soup off the heat, add a pinch of salt and pepper and the juice of half a lime and blend using a stick blender (or carefully pour into a food processor and blend)
  4. Have a taste and add a bit more seasoning if required.  You could also add a bit of water if the soup seems a bit too thick.  Ladle into bowls, serving with a few coriander leaves and a squirt of lime juice.