“Caramelising root vegetables really enhances their flavour and in this soup the parsnip has a lovely sweetness and nuttiness. It’s rich and comforting but doesn’t contains dairy or anything other than natural vegetable ingredients. The bhajis are a great ‘support act’ too!” says Chantelle Nicholson.


For the parsnip and coconut soup

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 large parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 800ml vegetable stock
  • 300ml coconut milk
  • Cumin seeds, toasted, to garnish
  • Coriander cress, to garnish
  • Beetroot cress, to garnish

For the parsnip bhajis

  • 2 parsnips, peeled and grated
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp of coriander, chopped
  • 2 tbsp of gram flour
  • 2 tbsp of chickpea water
  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil, plus extra for greasing


  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a moderate heat. When hot, add the parsnips, season well and cook for 25 minutes until lightly caramelised.
  2. Add the onion, cumin seeds and bay leaf and cook for a further 5 minutes until the onion is soft. Add the vegetable stock to the pan and simmer for 20 minutes until the parsnip is cooked.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Mix all the bhaji ingredients, apart from the coconut oil, together in a large bowl Season the mix with salt and pepper, then heat the coconut oil in a non-stick frying pan. Using two spoons, shape the bhaji mixture and fry off until golden. Place on a greased baking sheet and cook the bhajis for 8-10 minutes until golden cooked through.
  4. Remove the bay leaf from the soup, add the coconut milk and blitz in a blender until smooth. Reheat on the hob if necessary. Divide between bowls and sprinkle with cumin seeds and cress. Serve with the hot crispy bhajis on the side, or in the soup as croutons if you prefer.

Recipe courtesy of greatbritishchefs.com

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