Recipes: How to make soup with seasonal vegetables “at their best” with “maximum flavor”

Recipes: How to make soup with seasonal vegetables “at their best” with “maximum flavor”

It’s hard to ignore the rising cost of food, especially when it comes to staple fruits and vegetables found on supermarket shelves. Although paying more to stay healthy is something many people have accepted, consuming seasonal produce is a great way to cut costs and enjoy a nutritious diet. While your garden may look sparse in January, many of the season’s plants can be added to homemade soup—and they’ll cost you a fraction of the price. Speaking exclusively to, plant-based chef and nutritionist Lisa Marley shared two immune-boosting recipes with a mix of carrots, parsnips, potatoes and more.

Lisa said: “Soup is a great way to use up any vegetables you might have. Adding beans to soups is a fantastic way to increase fiber and fill out the dish. while stir-fries are a quick and easy way to make a tasty and satisfying dinner with minimal effort but maximum taste.

“Seasonal food, especially grown locally, tends to be much cheaper due to the fact that there are no import, travel and potentially storage costs. Unfortunately, this will vary from place to place in the UK.

“Depending on where you live, the cost of produce can vary slightly. But in general it is always better to buy seasonal food, locally grown. This is because seasonal food is nutrient dense, fresh and tastes better.”

The chef noted that while different types of produce have “ideal times” when they are “at their best”, consuming them in their prime season can lead to a stronger immune system, while also having a positive effect on the local economy.

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To make the soup, start by boiling the pearl barley in a pan for 20 minutes, or until cooked. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion for five minutes until soft, adding a tablespoon of stock if it starts to stick.

Then add the spices to the onion and cook for one minute. Add carrots, celery, parsnip and potato, chopped tomatoes and stock and cook gently for 30 minutes.

Five minutes before the end, add the boiled pearl barley. Taste and enjoy while warm.

If a smooth, sweet soup is what you’re after, Lisa’s carrot and parsnip ensemble is perfect for lunch or dinner.


  • Two teaspoons rapeseed oil
  • Two onions, finely chopped
  • Two stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • Two garlic cloves, crushed
  • A teaspoon of dried thyme
  • Three large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • Two large parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
  • A can of butter beans drained and rinsed
  • One liter of vegetable stock
  • A handful of parsley, finely chopped, for garnish

Add the oil to a large saucepan and fry the onion, celery and garlic over a medium heat for five minutes. Add a tablespoon or two of broth if the onion starts to brown. Add the garlic and cook for one minute.

Add thyme, carrot, parsnip, butter beans and stock and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 12 – 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Use an immersion blender to pulse until smooth. Taste and garnish with parsley. Serve warm with warm bread to mop up every last drop of the flavorful soup.

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