Parsnip, lime leaf & coconut soup
Wednesday, 1st February 2023 by Aitana & Sarah Little Cooking Pot
Sarah & Aitana's Parsnip soup

This recipe comes from A La Mesa, a beautiful book by veg scheme members Sarah and Aitana @littlecookingpot. They say: "Parsnip is one of our veg box roots that tend to end up being picked last for the team. Though we get excited the first few times they appear, when we enjoy them simply roasted with olive oil, coriander seeds and sea salt; after the third round, their floral, sweet complexities become a little overpowering for us... that is, until we came up with this recipe. Balancing their sweetness with earthy yellow lentils, creamy coconut milk, fiery green chillies and ginger has made us fall in love with their charm again."

This soup is delicious served with some toasted sourdough bread and a lightly dressed bitter salad with winter leaves such as radicchio, purslane and mizuna. You will need a hand blender or food mill (passatutto). Serves 4-6


Extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 shallots, peeled & sliced into thin
half moons
4 garlic cloves, peeled & sliced
3-4 green chillies (optional but helps
to balance the sweetness)
A big thumb of ginger, finely grated
1 leek, split lengthways, finely sliced & well washed
Sea salt
300g split yellow lentils or split flamingo peas
4 medium parsnips, scrubbed but not peeled, roughly chopped
A thumb of turmeric, grated or...
1 teaspoon powdered turmeric
6 fresh lime leaves
400ml good quality coconut milk
1 lime, zest & juice
Tamari or soy sauce
Dried red chilli flakes
Toasted pumpkin seeds


Over a medium heat, pour a generous few glugs of olive oil into a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the coriander seeds, letting them sizzle for a minute before adding the shallots, garlic, chillies and ginger. Fry for a couple of minutes more before adding the leeks and a big pinch of salt.

Cook until the leeks are soft and starting to melt, stirring often so that the bottom doesn’t catch.

Add the lentils or flamingo peas, parsnips, turmeric, lime leaves and lime zest. Mix well and then pour in the coconut milk along with 1 litre of water. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the lentils or peas are creamy and the parsnips are soft, stirring every now and again.

Turn off the heat and allow the soup to cool a little.

Purée the soup to a smooth consistency using a food mill or hand blender. If you’re using a hand blender, just remember to remove the lime leaves first. Add a splash of tamari or soy sauce, a squeeze of lime juice, mix well and have a taste.

Once you’re happy with the flavour, ladle into bowls and top with chilli flakes (if using), some toasted seeds and a drizzle of your best extra virgin olive oil.

Author name: 
Aitana & Sarah Little Cooking Pot