This souper (sorry) healthy Spiced Carrot and Parsnip soup is the perfect cozy warming bowl to get you glowing this winter. With red lentils for extra protein and fiber and subtle curry spicing, it's an all-round winter winner. Sweet parsnips and carrots are balanced with ginger, garlic and garam masala for a delicious bowl full of spiced soup!
A bowl of cheerful sunshine-filled orange-colored soup is the perfect pick-me-up on a cold day, especially when it's spiced and full of wholesome vegetables and lentils. The curry, ginger and other subtle spices make this soup a healthy but flavorful option for lunch or dinner.
For a similar soup but without the spices, you should try my Swede (Rutabaga) and Carrot Soup, or for an even gentler option, this gorgeous Pumpkin Soup without Cream. Of course, good soup needs some yummy Vegan Garlic Bread to mop it up! I also like to sometimes serve it with a side salad, like my Vegan Caesar Salad for the ultimate healthy lunch or dinner.
The basics of this soup recipe are simple, but the combination of spices, carrots, lentils and parsnips is an absolute delight.
- Parsnips- A parsnip is a relative of both the carrot and parsley. It's really common in the UK to eat them roasted all throughout winter. They also make excellent soup.
- Carrots- A staple of every kitchen. Sweet, full of beta-carotene (which protects eye health) and a good all-rounder in soups.
- Red Lentils- Lentils are a powerhouse of both fibre and protein. Red lentils are great for soups as they cook quickly.
- White/Brown onion- for a savory-sweet balanced flavour.
- Garlic- Healthy, immune boosting and full of that all-important flavour!
- Ginger- Good for healthy digestion and also delicious.
- Veggie Stock/Stock Powder/Bouillion- use your own homemade veggie stock or a good stock cube or bouillon.
- Garam Masala- or curry powder. Use good quality and as fresh as possible as this will make the soup flavour really sing.
- Turmeric- For colour, anti-inflammatory properties and subtle warm flavour.
- Black Pepper- combined with turmeric makes for a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also tastes delicious.
- Cinnamon- A hint of cinnamon adds to the warming spices in this soup.
- Olive Oil- Just a little olive oil to caramelize the onion, and garlic and release the spice aroma and flavour.
- Flakey Sea Salt - to taste.
See recipe card for quantities.
This soup is pretty easy, just chop, cook and blend.
- Peel and chop the carrots, parsnips and onion. Add them to a large saucepan or casserole and saute in olive oil until the onion softens.
2. You want the veggies to start to caramelize and soften, this creates a deeper flavour.
3. Once the veggies have softened, add the minced ginger and garlic, all the spices and lentils.
4. Turn over in the hot pan for a minute or so to coat in the oil and release the flavour of the spices.
Add the veggie stock or boullion and water, bring to a simmer and cook until the lentils are soft. About 10-15 minutes.
Either blend the soup in the pan with an immersion blender. Or cool a little and blend in a jug blender. Add a squeeze of lemon and salt & pepper to taste. Serve hot.
Hint: If you prefer a chunky soup, leave it unblended or just blend part of it, my husband prefers it unblended as per in the image below.
🌶Substitutions & Variations
This soup is already vegan, dairy and egg free, as well as being free from most common allergens.
- Leeks or Shallots- swap the onions for leek or shallots.
- Carrot soup- omit the parsnips and double the carrots for just carrot soup.
- Parsnip soup -omit the carrots and just use parsnips for pure parsnip soup.
- Extra Spicey- Add more garam masala or curry powder and add in an extra teaspoon of chilli powder to taste.
- No spice- you can omit the curry and spices. If you want a plainer version of this soup, see my Classic Swede (Rutabaga) and Carrot Soup and swap the swede for the parsnips.
🍲Soup Toppings and to Serve
Toppings can really make a soup a meal, so try these easy ideas to top up or serve with your carrot and parsnip soup!
- Plain unsweetened vegan yoghurt- a swirl on top is a pleasing contrast to the rich soup.
- Toasted seeds and nuts- Toast up some of your favourites and sprinkle..
- Fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves or parsley
- Pesto - I like this homemade Parsley Pesto with Pistachios swirled on soups.
- Garlic Flat Breads Easy Triple Garlic Flatbreads which are great to make from scratch if you find yourself with no bread in the house.
You don't need much fancy equipment for this easy-to-make soup.
- A good knife for chopping.
- A decent sized heavy based saucepan or stove top safe casserole dish.
- An immersion blender or jug blender to blend the soup for the creamy texture.
Like most soups, this stores well in the fridge for up to 5 days. It also freezes perfectly for up to 3 months.
Freeze this parsnip and carrot soup in one or two-person portions so you can easily have a quick meal when you need a big comforting bowl of soup. The soup can be reheated directly from frozen.
For the best spiced flavour, be sure to mix in the garlic, ginger and spices into the veggies over a gentle heat to open up their flavours, before adding the stock.
Chop off the tops and peel the parsnips, then chop into small pieces.
I have put step by step instructions with photos above. Follow these and you will be able to make delicious soup!
Use a good quality stock (I use a vegan Boullion powder or homemade veggie stock) Don't skip the part where you turn the spices in the warmed oil to release their flavours.
I start cooking this soup with the lid off, the put the lid on for the final 10 minutes when the lentils and vegetables are simmering.
Spiced Carrot and Parsnip Soup with Red Lentils
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
- 250 g (½ lb) parsnips
- 250 g (½ lb) carrots
- 1 large onion
- 250 g (1 ⅓ cups) red lentils
- 2 tablespoon (2 tablespoon) olive oil
- 800 ml (4 ¼ cups) vegetable stock (OR boullion mixed with 800ml water)
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon garam masala (more if you want a spicier soup)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 15 ml (¼ cups) lemon juice (A squeeze of fresh lemon)
- salt & pepper to taste.
- Peel and chop the vegetables, into 1cm cubes. Even pieces means that they all cook evenly.
- Finely chop the garlic and grate the fresh ginger.
- In a large pan, sautee the onion, parsnip and carrot in olive oil until the onion is translucent.250 g carrots, 1 large onion, 2 tablespoon olive oil, 250 g parsnips
- Add to the pan the lentils, garlic, ginger and spices. Mix and put back over the heat for a minute until the spices release their aromas.250 g red lentils, 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, 3 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon turmeric, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Add in the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.800 ml vegetable stock
- Let simmer with a lid on for about 15- 20 minutes or until the vegetables and lentils are soft.
- Remove from the heat and either use an immersion blender and blend OR let cook then blend in a jug blender.
- If you need more liquid, you can add add in more stock here.
- Squeeze in the lemon, then taste and add pepper or more salt if needed.salt & pepper to taste., 15 ml lemon juice
- Heat through to serve. Serve with some vegan yoghurt, herbs and crusty bread.