With the recent temperature drop, that Christmas-is-coming feeling is all around us. It’s no coincidence I’ve made this soup a few times in the last few weeks. The first time was a Sunday evening when I was using up all the leftover bits in my fridge from a previous roast: delicious root veggies, aromatic leek, fragrant rosemary and homemade bone broth which I then spiced up with plenty of ginger and cumin for warmth. I had friends passing by to pick up something and thought I might serve them a cup, so peering into the pot and realising it might not be enough I added half a cup of red split lentils. I quite like a chunky soup but Nick likes them smooth so I let him get the stick blender on it. Finished with a drizzle of olive oil and a generous grind of black pepper, this soup has become a favourite — not least for its sunset pink orangey colour, courtesy of the root veggies. This recipe is really versatile, so don’t be afraid to have more of one veg and less of the other or to double everything to feed a crowd.



Serves 3-4

2 tbsp ghee (or coconut oil for a vegan option)
½ large leek, sliced
2-3 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tsp cumin powder
2 medium parsnips, chopped into small chunks
1 large or 2 small beets, chopped into small chunks
1 large sweet potato, chopped into small chunks
750ml - 1 litre bone broth or veg stock
3 small sprigs rosemary
½ cup red split lentils
½ tsp sea salt (if using homemade bone broth, otherwise adjust to taste at the end)
Generous grind of black pepper

To serve

Extra virgin olive oil
More black pepper
Lemon juice


  1. In a large pan, sauté the leeks in the ghee until soft. Add the chopped ginger and cumin and sauté again.

  2. Add the parsnips first and cook for a few minutes, then add the beetroot and sweet potato.

  3. Add 750ml of bone broth or veg stock, and the rosemary, split lentils and sea salt if using.

  4. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer on low for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are completely tender. Carefully remove the sprigs of rosemary and discard.

  5. Use a stick blender to purée the soup to your liking, adding more hot water, broth or stock if needed.

  6. Taste and adjust seasoning, stirring in a generous grind of black pepper and ladle into bowls.

  7. Dress with extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and a final grind of black pepper to serve.