I received this recipe from Linda this morning, and it sounds absolutely delicious. If you don’t have curry powder, a teaspoon of cumin would be a good substitute. It’s that time of year when curried soup is a most welcome thing! Thanks Linda!

Linda’s Curried Soup

1 tbsp cooking oil
1 onion
1 large parsnip
3 or 4 large carrots
1 green pepper
1.5 litres boiling water + 1 or 2 veggie stock cubes
1 tsp mild curry powder

Dice onion and sauté in oil till onion is soft but not browned.
Stir in curry powder and then all the rest of the veggies (small dice).
Add the stock and bring to the boil.
Simmer until the veggies are soft. This probably takes about half an hour, but I didn’t time it!
As the veggies are cut up into small dice the soup cooks quite quickly.
Blend with a stick blender and serve.

It is a tasty soup and a useful and thrifty way of using up those odd veggies. The first time I made it I used a wrinkly green pepper which would have been thrown out in many households but it made a good addition to the soup.

The soup has a good butternut squash colour and a lovely creamy consistency.
My husband loved the first batch and was delighted when he saw me making it again yesterday!”

If you have a favourite thrifty recipe you would like to see here, email it to

Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe


  1. Perfect! Was trying to find a way to use up pretty much all of these… I don’t have a parsnip though – would a potato be an ok substitute?

  2. You really can’t beat soup at this time of year for a warming and budget conscious meal. This one sounds lovely, and once you’ve got used to the basic frying onions and spices etc and then adding everything else, the variations are endless.

    A good soup to make the day before you go shopping to use up all the oddments you find lurking in the bottom of the fridge.

  3. tbcoutts: You sparked off a memory. I once used a recipe by Lindsey Bareham who used to write in the Evening Standard. It was a curried parsnip soup and it used a potato as well. (It also used garlic). Other than that the ingredients were similar to Linda’s. It was very popular with the party when I made it! I reckon you can ring the changes with the veggies as much as you like – within reason of course!

  4. ERROR SPOTTED! Hi, Sorry just re-read my recipe. I missed out one ingredient! Add 1 large potato or 2 medium sized ones to the veggie mix. That’s what thinkens the soup! That’s what happens when I write emails too early in the morning.

  5. It’s the time of year when I start making soup again. Sometimes I call it weekend soup, sometimes leftover soup, but they’re all the same – anything that’s left over, getting a bit tired, needs using up goes in (savoury, of course!!), gets cooked with lentils, seasonings and stock and then zizzed. The results are usually absolutely delicious.

  6. I sometimes buy value noodles, the curry flavour, using just the noodles to add to soups etc, and the left-over curry sachets are good to use in soups like this as well.

  7. I used to love your blog, Jack, some of your older recipes are very well thought out and instructive. But really, we’ve been reduced to ‘recipes’ for porridge lately, and now this? A few chopped vegetables and some stock and curry powder? A child could put this together!

    • Hello! Sorry to hear that you’re disappointed, I try to include a range of things from ‘ideas’ like the porridge, to more complicated things, as I don’t want to make assumptions about the individual abilities of my readers, so some of the things are very simple. But then a lot of cooking is very simple, which is what I’m trying to show. Stick around and see what comes over the next few weeks, there’s 5 lined up in drafts already and I’m working on some more ready meals…

    • I would sweat the vegetables in butter for about 15 mins. Then turn up the heat so they brown a bit, taking care they don’t burn. Add about a tablespoon of garam masala then continue as descibed. Add some cooked rice at the end. Still easy, but more flavour.

    • ” ….a child could put this together!”
      EXACTLY ! That is the beauty and truth of tasty, nutritious and low cost cooking… it is very simple and quick and there are, as you see from the replies here, many different variations depending on personal taste and product available and budget.
      Most cooking is faster than take out and far tastier. As far as children go, most food adverse kids will eat what they themselves cook so involving them in such a simple process is ideal.
      The fact that tiny portions of porridge and mash are available in supermarket eye watering prices…{ don’t get me started on the cost of SB’s berry bircher…sheesh} shows that not all adults are aware of just how simple cooking is…and you don’t even need a shiny gourmet kitchen or recipes involving a long list of steps and ingredients.
      My 8 year old God daughter was amazed at how simple it was to make cauliflower and cheese..”that’s it?” she said….then it dawned on her that shoe could make broccoli and cheese and mac and cheese too…all from the same very simple initial process.

  8. A child might be able to put this together but without a recipe to refer to the first time would they even think to, or would they buy an expensive tin of soup and then run out of cash at the end of the week.

    To learn to cook you DO have to start with basics and Jack has readers of all ages and abilities. So if a recipe seems really simple to you, grit your teeth and wait for one that suits you better but in the meantime think of the folks chopping an onion for the first time and attempting that first bowl of nourishing, tasty homemade soup it could be just the step they need to set them off on a lifetime of home cooking and baking, and feeding their family with veggies and pennies instead of pounds and junk food.

  9. I actually love this because it is so simple. I can’t cook so recipes like this are perfect for me. Each time I make one of these simple recipes I feel very proud of myself. So please do include these for the less talented cooks amongst us.

  10. Yes this is very simple ,but it tastes wonderful and is cheap to make 🙂
    Thank you Linda for the recipe.
    Jack , you are doing a great job

  11. Thanks for trying the soup, Canadian Moggie. Glad you liked it. I can assure Bunnie MacBitches, oops, sorry, MacBritches, that I hadn’t intended my quick soup to be so demeaning. It is quick, tasty and cheap. After cooking for 50 odd years I can do complicated and ultra expensive too! Not always necessary though!

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