Spicy apple, fennel & sweet potato soup

Today we’re sharing a recipe from one of our cookbooks, The Gate Vegetarian Cookbook! You can buy it in our shop for £16.99.

With regard to soup, our philosophy goes back to something Mahatma Gandhi famously said: “Drink your food and eat your soup.” In other words, make sure your food is properly chewed for the sake of the digestion, and your soups are chunky enough to be filling. At home, soups were always made in extra-large quantities on Fridays for the whole weekend, so they were generally seen as a bit of a treat, an attitude we still hold on to. Click here to buy the book and find out more…

Serves 4


2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
4 cardamom pods, crushed
2 tsp each of ground turmeric, cinnamon and cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1-2 tbsp black mustard seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
Large chunk of fresh root ginger, finely chopped or grated
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, cored and diced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2-3 Jerusalem artichokes, diced
2-3 parsnips, peeled and diced
1.25L vegetable stock
2 firm eating apples, such as Granny Smiths, pearled, cored and cut into chunks
Salt and black pepper
1-2 tbsp sugar
Handful of coriander leaves, chopped


1. Heat the oil in a large wok or frying pan and stir-fry the chilli and all the spices until they give off their aromas. Add the onion, ginger and garlic, and stir-fry until they soften.

2. Add the vegetables and turn to coat in the oil and flavourings for 2-3 minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 20-25 minutes, until they are tender. Half way through that time, add the apples.

3. Using a stick blender, reduce the contents of the pan to a puree. Season to taste with slat and pepper and sugar to bring out the natural sweetness of the vegetables. Stir in the chopped coriander.

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