Spicy Sweet Potato and Parsnip Soup

I decided to do a little Delia, and give you a recipe for an extremely tasty soup. I warn you I’m not big on exact quantities, I’m from the “chuck it in and stir” school. If you’ve never had freshly ground pepper or salt, you may take a look of amazon salt and pepper shakers, you’ll never want to go back to pre-packaged spices.

This will make one big batch that will serve about 8 people, or more.


  • Parsnips – I used 3 big ones.
  • Sweet Potatoes – I used 2 big ones.
  • Some carrots, or potatoes, to add a bit of body, not affect the flavour and still be cheap – I used 5 carrots.
  • Onions – I used 2 big ones.
  • Vegetable stock cubes.
  • Gravy granules.
  • Mixed Herbs – 1 table spoon.
  • Cumin – 2 table spoons.
  • Coriander – 2 table spoons.
  • Chilli Powder – 1 table spoon.
  • Few cloves of garlic.
  • A load of butter.

The recipe:

  1. Get a big pan, with a lid, on a low heat. Chuck all the butter in.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes, the parsnips and the carrot/potatoes. Chop them, the onions and the garlic into smallish bits.
  3. Put all the chopped veg into the pan. Stir it occasionally, replacing the lid between stirs, and just let it “sweat” in the butter for ten minutes. You aren’t trying to cook it, just make the vegetables sweat. My mum taught me this, and it’s golden – makes everything taste better.
  4. You should also add all your herbs and spices at this point. Careful with the chilli powder – I use mild chilli powder, and more of it, because I love the taste of chillies, but don’t necessary need the burn.
  5. Whilst that’s going, prepare about 2 litres of stock. Chuck loads of stock cubes in, and a good load of gravy, leaving you a slightly thickened brown juice.
  6. After 10 minutes, pour the stock into the pan, and bring the mixture up to boiling point, stirring it frequently.
  7. Once its reached boiling point, you can turn the heat down a bit, and just cook it for about 10 minutes, stirring it well.
  8. Using a hand blender (if you like smooth soup), blend it now, or just leave it lumpy.
  9. If the soup is too thick for you, or you want it to go further, add more stock.

Serve with bread. You can butter the bread if you want. The best option is probably rolls, warmed up in the oven.


6 thoughts on “Spicy Sweet Potato and Parsnip Soup

  1. Hmm, may try this. I never make soups because they always come out overly chunky and it's easier just to add meat and call it a curry instead. But I do love the sweet potatoey goodness.

  2. just tried this, fantastic soup – threw in some coriander and dried nutmeg – same great results

    nice one

  3. Did not add anything but salt and pepper and a little butter. I had none of the herbs or spices in my cupboard.It was just as nice asI recently had in a restaurant. First time of making.

    1. Ha, that’s the beauty of this recipe – the amazing flavour of the vegetables comes through on their own. The spice helps to bring things alive, but enough pepper will do that for you nicely!

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