Parsnip, Rosemary & Olive Soup

The night before - remember to soak your lentils!

Serves around 4 - 6 people


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • ½ bulb garlic, sliced
  • Maldon salt
  • 4 – 5 parsnips, scrubbed and cut into 1cm chunks
  • 1 large sprig rosemary, leaves shred from the stem
  • 10 – 15 Kalamata olives (buy the olives with the pits and remove them yourself.  Pre-pitted olives have a very different taste)
  • ½ cup black lentils, soaked overnight
  • 2 – 3 cups light vegetable stock
  • Good quality sourdough bread
  • Garlic clove, chopped in half


  1. Pre-heat the oven to around 450°F/230°C
  2. Add olive oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat. 
  3. Add the onions and sauté for around 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and a pinch of Maldon salt.  Sauté for around 10 minutes although this could take longer – sometimes I will do this for 25 – 30 minutes on a low/medium heat as the longer you do this the sweeter the onions and garlic will be. 
  5. Turn up the heat a little and add the rosemary and parsnip chunks.  Don’t let it burn but it is nice to get the parsnips a little toasty-brown, usually around 3-5 minutes. 
  6. Add the olives, lentils and the vegetable stock and simmer until the parsnips and lentils are soft, around 30 minutes.  You may need more liquid. 
  7. Meanwhile, cut slices of bread, drizzle with olive oil and rub with the cut-side of the garlic clove.  Place on a parchment paper lined tray in the oven for around 7 - 10 minutes, until brown, then turn over for around 5 minutes until golden brown.  You could place the toast slices directly on the oven bars but remember to place a tray to catch the oil drips!
  8. Taste the soup and season as needed.  Sink a slice of garlic toast in each bowl, drizzle with more olive oil!
Leela Le NouryComment