Golden lentil soup

    1 hour 45 min

    This velvety-smooth soup owes its rich colour to a combination of lentils, parsnips and carrots. With dry sherry and a horseradish-flavoured cream adding to the flavour, it is a perfect dinner-party first course. Serve it with crunchy melba toast or oatcakes.

    66 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 15 g (½ oz) butter, plus 1 tsp olive oil
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • 450 g (1 lb) parsnips, cut into small cubes
    • 340 g (12 oz) carrots, cut into small cubes
    • 150 ml (5 fl oz) dry sherry
    • 85 g (3 oz) red lentils
    • 1.2 litres (2 pints) vegetable stock, preferably home-made light or rich
    • salt and pepper
    • fresh chives to garnish
    • To serve
    • 2 tsp grated horseradish
    • 6 tbsp half-fat crème fraîche

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:1hr30min  ›  Ready in:1hr45min 

    1. Melt the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, stir well and cover the pan. Sweat the onion over a gentle heat for 10 minutes or until softened. Stir in the parsnips, carrots and sherry. Bring to the boil, then cover the pan again and leave to simmer very gently for 40 minutes.
    2. Add the lentils, stock, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cover the pan. Simmer for a further 15–20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Purée the soup in a blender until smooth or use a hand-held blender to purée the soup in the pan. Return the soup to the pan if necessary, and reheat it gently until boiling. If it seems a bit thick, add a little stock or water.
    3. Stir the grated horseradish into the crème fraîche. Snip some of the chives for the garnish and leave a few whole. Ladle the soup into warm bowls and top each portion with a spoonful of the horseradish cream. Scatter snipped chives over the top and add a few lengths of whole chive across the top of each bowl. Serve at once.

    Some more ideas

    Use celeriac instead of parsnips, and swede instead of carrots. Prepare and cook the soup as in the main recipe. Dry white vermouth or white wine can be added in place of the sherry for a lighter flavour. * For a lower-fat version, top each portion with 1 tsp creamed horseradish instead of the horseradish and crème fraîche mixture, and scatter chopped parsley over the soup.

    Plus points

    Lentils are a good source of protein and an excellent source of fibre. High-fibre foods are bulky and make you feel full for longer, so are very satisfying. When eaten regularly, lentils can help to lower blood glucose levels. * Root vegetables have long been enjoyed as an excellent source of vitamins and minerals during the winter months. * Children who are reluctant to sample plain cooked vegetables will not even realise they are eating them in this tasty, colourful soup.

    Each serving provides

    Excellent source of vitamin A. Good source of folate, potassium, vitamin B1, vitamin B6. Useful source of calcium, iron.

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    Reviews in English (6)


    This soup was amazing - I did leave out the sherry though and it still tasted great. Really recommended!  -  26 Dec 2011


    I can thoroughly recommend this recipe - it's easy, good-looking, v. tasty and freezes well!  -  27 Jan 2009


    Something else. I cant really judge amounts so my soup turned out a bit weak so I just added some boiled potato to thicken it and it was beautiful  -  22 Jul 2010