Recipe 3. Winter vegetable soup

4 July 2017. Recently we entertained our friends Brian and Roz in Tonka. Four people is squeezy, but doable in our “dining room”. More of a challenge is cooking for four in our confined “kitchen”, with only a two-ring gas stove and a tiny griller. We needed something that we could prepare in advance, and leave simmering while we got on with the pre-dinner business of wine and chatter.

A one-pot meal fit the requirements. And a winter vegetable soup is perfect for the season.

This photo won’t win any food presentation (or food photography) awards. But it should give you the idea.


1-2 carrots
1/4 pumpkin (butternut if available)
1-2 parsnips
1-2 kumera (sweet potato)
1 potato
1 small swede
(Not all of the above are required. Mix and match depending on what you can get and what is flavoursome. It’s good to have either pumpkin or carrot for colour. Increase the quanitities to feed more people or have enough for a second meal.)

Fresh ginger (approx 2cm x 2cm cube)
1 onion
Oil for frying onion and ginger
Mild curry paste. I usually use ¼ jar of Patak’s Mild Curry Paste.

1/2 litre milk
Greek yogurt
Fresh coriander as a garnish (or fresh parsley as a substitute)


Cut the ginger and onion into small pieces, then fry in a large pot until the onion just starts to brown.
Meanwhile cut the vegetables into medium-sized chunks (if you are at home and have a food processor) or little chunks (if on the road).

Add the curry paste to the onions, and stir for 1 minute. Then add the vegetables and stir for another minute or two. Then add just enough water to cover the vegetables, and bring to the boil.

If you have a food processor:
Simmer for around 30 minutes until the carrot is soft. Set aside about ⅓ of the mixture. Puree the remainder, then put both parts back into the pot.

If you don’t have a food processor:
You’ll need to cook the soup for at least an hour. Then mash as best you can. An old-style potato masher is ideal.

(I always try to make enough for two meals. It’s best to separate out tomorrow’s meal at this point – before adding the milk. You can safely store the soup in the fridge for a few days, or longer if frozen.)

Add milk and warm carefully until it just starts to boil. Serve into large bowls, garnish with a dollop of yoghurt and coriander.

Serve as a main meal with crusty whole grain bread.

Here we are with Brian and Roz the following night (in a more spacious restaurant).