Chef’s Curried Winter Parsnip Soup

This hearty, warming soup uses seasonal root vegetables and is flavoured with Indian spices – perfect for a cold winter’s day.

PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 50 minutes


1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 leek, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp chilli powder
clove garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 parsnip, peeled and diced
150g of yellow split peas
1½ litres vegetable stock


Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, leek and carrot. Sweat them over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until soft.

In the meantime, crush the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds in a pestle and mortar with the chilli powder. Add the spices to the vegetables along with the garlic, bay leaf and parsnip, and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the split peas and stock, then bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and leave to simmer for 40 minutes.

To make the croutons, heat the oil in a frying pan and add the cumin seeds. When the cumin starts to crackle, add the squares of bread and fry for about 1 minute on each side until golden (add more oil if needed). Remove from the pan and leave to cool on a sheet of kitchen roll.

Before serving the soup, remove the bay leaf then blitz in a food processor. Season with a good crack of salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a spoonful of yoghurt, croutons and fresh coriander.