Thursday, 2 October 2014


The cold nights are starting to creep in. What could be greater on a chilly evening than a big bowl of homemade soup. That's what's greeted me when I came home this evening. Jon had been slow cooking parsnips, carrots and spices to create this beautiful soup that smelt amazing when I walked through the door. It doesn't get better than that really does it! I just had to share his recipe with you so you can feel all lully and toasty inside too! You can all thank him later!

Now the recipe below uses a slow cooker. I've talked in the best about how fabulous a slow cooked meal can be (take our slow cooked chili for instance) but I appreciate that some of us either don't have a slow cooker or don't have the time to let something brew for a good  few hours. In this case you can cook up your veg in the boiling stock rather than transferring to a slow cooker for around 20 minutes until the veg is tender enough to blend. You still get a tasty soup but the herbs and spices will just not be as punchy so do try and slow cook if you can.

That doesn't mean we didn't throw in a few cheats. The croutons are straight out of a packets and the bacon bits from a jar. Whilst I talk about bacon bits I'm talking about the small dry crispy bits you can get in most supermarkets. They are great for sprinkling over soups and salads for extra taste and crunch. Buy some and keep them handy for such an occasion. If you have the inclination then buy all means fry up some chopped bacon or panchetta to place on top or make your own croutons, sometimes you can't be bothered tho can you?

Here's the recipe. So simple to prepare and then you just need to wait for your slow cooker to works it's magic. Lully!

Carrot and Parsnip Soup

1 Large Finely Chopped Onion
3 Grated Garlic Cloves
2 Peeled Parsnips Chopped Into Cubes
2 Peeled Carrots Chopped Into Cubes
300g Red Lentils
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
1 Tsp Chili Flakes
1 Tsp Mixed Italian Herbs
2 Bay Leaves
Hand Full Chopped Coriander
600ml Vegetable Stock
Salt And Pepper To Season
  Handful Of Croutons (Per Serving)
1 Tbsp Bacony Bits (Per Serving)
  1. Take a large soup pan and add in a glug of oil. Turn onto a medium head and throw in the onions, garlic, parsnip and carrot and fry until the onion have gone soft.
  2. Add in the lentils, cumin, chili flakes, Italian herbs, bay leaves, coriander and stock and bring to the boil. Season with salt and pepper and then either transfer to your slow cooker for at least 3 hours (longer for a more intense taste) or reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetable's are just tender.
  3. When ready, blend the soup to a consistency you prefer. I like to leave a few chunky bits of veg in the soup but you can blend until completely smooth if you prefer.
  4. Dish up your soup into bowls and sprinkle over the croutons and bacony bits to serve.
You have to serve this soup with some warm crusty ciabatta soaked in butter. You have to have dippy bread when your having soup, I think you'll find its the law!

The recipe below will make around 6 portions so you can whip up a batch for a family to eat on the day or freeze your left overs so that you have delicious homemade soup which you can defrost at short notice if a cold spell suddenly descends on your house.

A comfy classic in the making!

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