I have had a bit of trouble working out a recipe for a really good vegetable soup. I have tried all sorts of combinations over the years, but never quite made one I really, really like and then, when I was least expecting it, I hit upon this version. There’s nothing particularly remarkable about this combination of vegetables, but somehow it just works and is definitely the best vegetable soup I have ever tasted. Better than that, my kids absolutely love it, and they are often a bit funny about soup (perhaps an inherited trait?!). I think the celery and the parsnip are the key here, they are not dominant flavours in the soup, but they really help to make it more flavoursome than the average vegetable soup.
This recipe makes a thick, almost puree-like soup, but if you prefer your soup a bit less thick, simply thin out with boiling water from the kettle until you reach a consistency you are happy with. If you don’t have a hand blender, then just use a potato masher: it will be a bit more of a rustic consistency, but no less delicious.
If you want to make this soup vegetarian friendly, use vegetable stock instead, I like Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon Powder or just use water if you have no stock. Olive oil can be used instead of the butter if you want to make this vegan.
This recipe is a great one for batch cooking: you can reheat it the next day and it freezes well too. If you are going to freeze it, wait until you defrost it before thinning the soup out so it takes up less room in your freezer.
- 25g butter
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 leek, sliced thinly
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 2 sticks celery, sliced
- 1 small parsnip, sliced
- 1 medium potato, chopped into 1cm cubes
- 500ml chicken stock (made with a cube is fine, I used 1 Kallo Organic Chicken stock cube)
- Salt and pepper
- Melt the butter on a low heat in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the onion and leek and cook with the lid on for 5 minutes until softened. Stir occasionally.
- Add the carrot, celery, parsnip and potato and fry for a further 5 minutes with the lid off, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chicken stock and a few twists of black pepper, bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat, with the lid on, for 20 minutes.
- Use a hand blender to blitz the soup to a smooth puree and then add a little extra boiling water from the kettle if you think the soup is too thick. Taste the soup and add salt and or pepper if you think it needs it and then serve with some crusty bread and a glass of chilled white wine – I like white Burgundy with this soup.