Saturday, May 28, 2011

Red Lentil Soup with Parsnip & Thyme

Soups can be such a saviour in the kitchen. When you're tired, pressed for time, or you have a mish-mash of ingredients and don't know what to do, the humble soup can always come to the rescue. You don't even need to be a good cook to create one, as long as you can boil water you're pretty much sorted.

That said, the difference between an okay soup and a delicious soup can come down to the extra bits of flavour you choose to add. For this soup the added wow-factor is fresh thyme, but you could add any other fresh herb you have handy, such as oregano.

I especially love this soup as it is really economical and simple to make, yet it tastes complex and is utterly yum. And if you're not a fan of parsnips you could replace them with another vegetable, I made it with gold kumara once and it was great. So feel free to experiment. Yay for soup!


50g butter (you can use olive oil if you prefer)
2 onions, peeled and sliced
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and cubed
3 medium parsnips (approx 450g), peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
2 teaspoons salt
350g (about 1 and 1/2 cups) red lentils
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
50g/1/2 cup chopped spring onions (reserve some for garnish)


Sauté the onions and garlic in the butter (or oil) for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the parsnips, salt and 2 litres of water. Bring to the boil. Cook for 15 minutes.

Add the lentils, cook for a further 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat.

Blend the soup with a stick bender (or food processor etc) until smooth. Add more water if you prefer a thinner soup.

Mix in the thyme and spring onions.

Serves 4-6


  1. It's probably starting to be the perfect time for this kind of soup in NZ, yes? I tried a lentil soup in Istanbul this week called Mercimek; I love me some lentils and I bet yours is lovely wit the parsnips.

  2. Sasa: Yip it is. It's lunchtime here (in South Canterbury) and it's 10 degrees Celsius. So yip the chill is starting.


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