Oh this was such a surprise! The result of being freezing cold, hungry and fed up of looking at the bag of carrots and parsnips in the veg drawer of my fridge. The resultant soup really satisfied my needs that day – to warm me up and fill me up and of course, deliver big flavours to keep my tastebuds satisfied enough that they don’t send me to the baking supplies cupboard looking for “spare” chocolate to munch after lunch 😉 It might look like a bowlful of any other vegetable soup you care to name but I promise, the taste is so much more than it’s sunshine yellow colour. Let’s look at what else went into my Instant Pot Spicy Roots Soup.
Parsnip is one of my all time favourite veg – I adore it roasted with thyme and a little maple syrup. What I love about it is how it is both sweet and also has an inherent spiciness of it’s own. As I was looking around my kitchen furtively for other ingredients to add, a nugget of root ginger and my tub of red lentils caught my eye. Bingo. Both of them have their own brand of spiciness which work oh so well against the parsnip. Momentarily, I hovered over my masala dabba (Indian spice box) and was about to turn this into a curried soup but my pretty tin of smoked paprika entered my peripheral vision and I put the garam masala and turmeric back this time.
I did, however, return to the cupboard for one final ingredient which would unite the various spicy tastes and the smokiness of the paprika. Crossing my fingers and hoping I wasn’t about to ruin my lunch, I dolloped in a little mango chutney (which you can make in a flash in your Instant Pot too!). 15 minutes of pressure cooking later and a quick blitz and boom! I was so happy! The heat and smokiness were counterbalanced by the mango chutney which lent a very subtle fruity sweetness. It’s one of those apparently odd additions which really, is the little bit of magic that falls into secret ingredient territory. Except now you know the secret! And I hope you love this soup 😀
Hot and spicy root veg and lentil soup made in the Instant Pot. A bowl of hot, yellow sunshine on a cold dark day!
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 1.5 inch chunks
- 2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1.5 inch chunks (about 500g worth)
- 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, smacked with a knife and peeled
- 1 green chilli, destalked and chopped (leave seeds in if you like it hot)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 2-3 tsp mango chutney
- 750 ml hot vegetable stock
- 100 g red lentils, very well washed in a sieve under running water (about 1/2 cup)
Set the Instant Pot on to Sauté and when hot, add in the oil.
Sauté the carrots, parsnips, ginger and garlic until lightly coloured (just a few minutes) then add in the chilli and spices. Add in the mango chutney - the sweetness balances the spice nicely so don't leave it out!
Stir well then add in the stock and lentils. Put the lid on, close the vent and set the IP to Manual High for 15 minutes. Allow a QPR if you have the time, if not, a NPR will do.
Blend the soup with a stick/immersion blender and if you want it thinner, add more stock at this point. Test for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
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