During Covid-19 Lockdown, I volunteered at a soup kitchen and regularly peeled my weight in carrots and believe you me, that’s quite a substantial amount of carrots! It’s only appropriate that I share this Carrot & Turnip Soup recipe with you from our family cookbook Posh Nosh. Let’s face it, root veggies are not the sexiest of ingredients, but you’ll become addicted to this hearty potage that calls for carrots and turnips, and an intriguing trio of spices (coriander, cumin and nutmeg).

Pic: Neil Corder

Serves 6


700g carrots, peeled and sliced
2 small turnips, peeled and chopped
3-4 leeks, trimmed and sliced
1,5 litres (6 cups) vegetable stock
2ml (½ tsp) ground coriander
2ml (½ tsp) ground cumin
1ml (¼ tsp) grated nutmeg
sugar, sea salt, milled black pepper
125ml (½ cup) coconut cream (optional)

Toss the carrot, turnip and leek into a large saucepan with a cupful of the stock. Cover and simmer over a gentle heat for about 10 minutes. Add the coriander, cumin and nutmeg, and season with a little sugar, salt and pepper. Pour in the remaining stock, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes until the vegetables are soft.

Purée the soup smoothly in a food processor or blender, then pour back into the pan. Add the coconut cream and reheat. Check the flavour, and adjust if necessary.

Nosh Notes
  • Make Ahead: You’re welcome to make this soup a day or two ahead and reheat it just before serving. Double batch and freeze half for up to three months; just don’t add the coconut cream.
  • Wine Pairing: Granny would start with conventional wisdom and sherry. The adventurous may opt for fleshy chenin blanc with pulpy fruit, touches of oak and a gentle hint of sweetness: muscle to cope without competing. Granny wins. The breadth of food flavour demands a gentle medium dry sherry as bone dry bottlings elbow the soup off the palette.
  • A touch of history: Carrots, beloved by bunnies (and other interesting creatures) are delicious and nutritious. Prior to landing on the dinner table, carrots were a fashion statement – their feathery tops festooned the hats and sleeves of high-society ladies of the Stuart court. Carrots were initially classed as weeds and used as cattle feed, whereafter their image improved a tad – post First World War nannies urged their young charges to gobble them up in the quest for curling hair – and in the hope that they would see in the dark. 
Print Friendly and PDF