Veggie soup for two

This simple, veggie-packed soup gets a dose of umami by adding a prune to the broth.

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Veggie soup for two

One thing I’ve had to get used to with my new Ayurvedic-oriented lifestyle is avoiding eating leftovers. (The reason for this is simply that fresh is best.) Where I once cooked a big vat of soup that would last a few days, I now make only what I need for one meal. It was hit and miss at the start, but after a while I became better attuned to cooking for my natural portion size.

Here’s a soup recipe for two. If you’re halving to make for one, still use a full prune – that addition is from a recipe in Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, a little tip he picked up from someone else that I’m passing on to you. It adds some depth and umami to a basic savoury broth.

Veggie soup for two

Serves two

  • 1 TBSP x ghee (or olive oil, to make it vegan)
  • ½ x leek, sliced
  • 1  x celery stick, sliced
  • 1 x medium carrot, peeled and diced into 1-cm pieces
  • 1 x medium parsnip or small sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1-cm pieces
  • ½ tsp x dried thyme
  • ½ tsp x dried oregano
  • 1 x bay leaf
  • 1 TBSP x apple cider vinegar
  • 600-750ml x vegetable stock
  • 1 x prune
  • 50g x pearl barley or oat groats, rinsed
  • 1 TBSP x chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)
  • Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Heat the ghee in a heavy-bottomed pot over a medium heat. Add the leek, celery, carrot and parsnip/sweet potato and cook until the veggies start to soften (about 5 minutes). Add the herbs and cook for a further minute.

Add the apple cider vinegar and stir to combine, then pour over the stock and add the prune. Reduce the heat to med-low and simmer for around 45 minutes, until the veggies are tender and the barley or oat groats are soft.

Once everything is cooked, remove the prune if it’s still whole and mash with a fork before returning to the pot. Remove the bay leaf as well, before ladling into two bowls and sprinkling some parsley over each serving if using. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice if desired, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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carrot celery dinner leek lunch one-pot-meal parsnip seasonal-food soup sweet-potato vegan vegetarian winter ayurveda
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