This Spicy Parsnip and Sweet Potato Soup is hearty, healthy and packed with flavour! So good on those cold autumn and winter days when you need that warm, comforting feeling of homemade soup. Plus I want to show you how to up your toppings game!!
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 you don't even need to serve it with bread for a full and satisfied belly.
First we fry a chopped onion in a little oil until softened. Then we add in garlic, ginger and curry powder and fry again until they release their fragrance.
Next in goes sweet potato, parsnips and apple (for a nice touch of sweetness), followed by red lentils, coconut milk, stock and coriander (cilantro) stalks.
Simmer that all together for 20-25 minutes, then turn off the heat and season with salt, pepper and the juice of half a lime. Blend carefully with a stick blender.
Now you could serve it as it is, or with a sprinkling of coriander and a drizzle of lime juice.....
But let's make this soup into jaw-dropping wow soup.
You with me?
In addition to the coriander and lime juice, we're talking:
- Crispy roasted parsnip slices (instructions on how to make these are included in the recipe. They're SO good! Make extra, so you can continue to nibble on them for the rest of the day).
- Chopped up toasted peanuts
- a drizzle of coconut milk or double/heavy cream
- A drizzle of chilli sauce (sriracha or sweet chilli sauce)
- Chill flakes
- Lime slices
Can I make it ahead?
Yes, you can make this soup ahead. Make the soup (without the toppings), then quickly cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 2-3 days. Reheat in a pan until piping hot before serving. You may need to add a splash of water or stock to loosen it up a little when reheating, as it will thicken as it cools.
Can I freeze it?
Yes! Make the soup, then quickly cool, cover and freeze. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat in a pan until piping hot before serving. You may need to add a splash of water or stock to loosen it up a little when reheating, as it will thicken as it cools.
Can I make it gluten free?
Yes - use gluten free stock and you're good to go!
I've got more than 30 soup recipes in my soup section!
Some of my favourites include:
The Spicy Parsnip and Sweet Potato Soup Video:
The Spicy Parsnip and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe:
Spicy Parsnip and Sweet Potato Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion - diced
- 2 cloves of garlic - minced
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1.5 tbsp of curry powder - mild or hotter, depending on your taste
- 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
- 4 heaped tbsp red lentils
- 14 oz (400ml) canned coconut milk
- 2 ½ cups (600ml) chicken/veg stock
- Small bunch of coriander (cliantro)
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 lime - (half of the lime sliced thinly, the other half will be squeezed into the soup)
- 3 tbsp unsalted peanuts - roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp coconut milk - (or you can replace with double/heavy cream)
- 1 tbsp chilli sauce - (sriracha or sweet chilli sauce)
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 2 parsnips - peeled and sliced length-ways into thin slices
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- If you're making the parsnip chips, preheat the oven to 190C/375F and line a baking tray with a silicone liner.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened.
- Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder, stir together, and fry for a minute more, until they release their fragrance.
- Add the sweet potato, parsnip and apple, fry whilst stirring for a minute to coat them in the curry mixture.
- Add the lentils, coconut milk, stock and the stalks from the coriander (cilantro) - we'll save the leaves for garnish later. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer gently for 20-25 mins.
- While the soup is simmering, place the sliced parsnips for the soup topping on the baking tray. Drizzle over the 1 tbsp of oil and the ¼ tsp of salt and pepper. Toss together.
- Place the parsnips in the oven for 15-20 minutes (no need to turn) until golden brown. Remove from the oven.
- At this point you can also place the unsalted peanuts for your soup topping in a small frying pan (no oil). Fry over a high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until browned (be careful, they burn quickly). Transfer to a bowl when browned.
- Take the soup off the heat, add the salt and pepper and the juice of half a lime and carefully blend using a stick blender (or carefully pour into a food processor and blend) until smooth.
- 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, and top with a drizzle of coconut milk (or double/heavy cream) and a drizzle of chilli sauce. Give the sauces a little swirl.
- Place the parsnip crisps on top and sprinkle on the toasted peanuts. Add the coriander (cilantro) leaves, chill flakes and lime slices, then serve.
Can I make it ahead?Yes, you can make this soup ahead. Make the soup (without the toppings), then quickly cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 2-3 days. Reheat in a pan until piping hot before serving. You may need to add a splash of water or stock to loosen it up a little when reheating, as it will thicken as it cools.
Can I freeze it?Yes! Make the soup, then quickly cool, cover and freeze. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat in a pan until piping hot before serving. You may need to add a splash of water or stock to loosen it up a little when reheating, as it will thicken as it cools.
Can I make it gluten free?Yes - use gluten free stock and you're good to go! Nutritional information is approximate and is per serving, based on 6 servings, including toppings.
This post was first published in January 2014. Updated in December 2019 with recipe improvements, new photos, tips and video.
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Just made this. Wow perfection in a bowl. Very thick and has a wonderful spicy flavour without heat.
I had left over parsnips in the freezer from bought Christmas packs (we cannot get parsnips in Italy). They were supposed to be baked in the oven with a crispy coating! anyway I thought I would use them up and I think the coating just helped to thicken the soup but didn't detract from the flavours.
Great website love the recipes 😀 👌 have made a number of the Indian curries and they turn out spot on.
Great recipe cooked it last night ,have been cooking a lot of your recipes from lockdown
last years Chicken shawarma was a good one in the summer 👍🏻
Very innovative work. Great utilization of resources!!
Rose Anson says
Made this today and loved it. What a great flavour, I’m adding it to my favourites. Thank you for sharing.
Nicky Corbishley says
Fantastic! Thanks Rose 🙂
Very tasty soup.
I love this soup, great combination. My kids love it too, so definitely on to a winner here.
Easy and so tasty! I did not have lime, so ‘n used a bit of lemon juice and grated half a teaspoon of the peel into the soup as well. Did not have apple...but I am sure it will be even tastier with it added as per the recipe. But it was delicious without it too. I used cream instead of milk because I had to use it before expiry date. But I’ll try with the milk next time. It was very rich with the cream...yum. A definite addition to our favourite soups. Thank you!