With thyme, saffron and a hint of chilli, this is my own twist on an Italian favourite, minus the tomatoes this soup is just as hearty and equally as tasty as the original, yet with it's own delicious style...


  • The following veg to be diced into 1-2cm pieces:

  • Quarter Kent pumpkin

  • 1 large parsnip (or 2-3 small)

  • 1 med swede

  • 3 stalks celery

  • 2 large carrots

  • 5 or so baby chat/new potatoes (skin on)

  • then

  • 1 large onion - finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic - crushed

  • Half small savoy cabbage - finely sliced

  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh thyme - roughly chopped

  • 2 extra hot dried chillies (according to your taste) - chopped

  • chicken or veg stock for up to 1.5L-2L - I like Starr brand

  • pinch saffron

  • Crusty bread, good quality olive oil and parmesan cheese to serve


  • 1.

    Sauté onion on med heat in a good dash of olive oil (and a lil butter for flavour) then add the garlic. Now add the veg and stir.

  • 2.

    Meanwhile, boil a jug of water to add to the pot, around 1.5 - 2 L up to your discretion. Add good quality stock cubes, around 3 (I like Starr brand, either veg or chicken). Here I add a couple of roughly chopped extra hot dried chillis and a big handful of fresh thyme, stripped from the stalks, and finally a pinch of saffron.

  • 3.

    Bring to the boil and simmer on medium heat for around 15 mins, or until veg are just tender but firm enough to still hold their shape. Try not to overcook - it's so much nicer when the veg is not mushy!

  • 4.

    Season to taste then serve with a good grate of fresh Parmesan and a grind of fresh pepper, with a swirl of good quality fragrant olive oil!

  • 5.

    Bon appetit!


You can also add other root veg to your taste or even white beans would be nice, like cannellini or butter beans - to add an extra dimension of heartiness!

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