Every year I have a firework display on or around November 5th – Guy Fawkes night in the UK. It’s usually pretty cold, so I like to serve some tasty hearty warming firework night soup. It’s full of veggies and other good things. There’s leeks, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, butternut squash, onions, beetroot tomatoes, red lentils, ginger, garlic & more!
It’s a veritable fibre fest for your microbiome, and certainly gorgously satisfying to eat with some fresh bread or just to drink from a cup. Nutritionally, it’s very balanced, with plenty of protein and vitamins from all the veggies. I generally make a monster quantity, and then whatever is left over, I freeze for later.
The only pain is chopping all the veggies which is quite time consuming. This is for a monster quantity however – we’re talking crowd catering here – roughly 60 portions – if you do a double quantity as I generally do. There’s never that much left over though.
I cook it in 2 of my 11 litre pans that I use for large scale party catering. I tend to batch cook the parnips, beetroot, sweet potatoes and butternut squash in my Actifry or the oven. Meanwhile pan frying the leeks, carrots, onions, garlic, and ginger directly in the 11 litre pans.
A serving size is 250g – roughly 2 ladles of my warming firework night soup. This recipe is based on a soup made by an old friend of mine – Georgie de Fay – that she did one firework night at her house. It was so good, I made sure I got the general recipe, and made it myself for my next bonfire night party.
One of the key things is part blending the soup so that it makes it thicker and richer. Don’t over do it though because you still want some texture in it. A stick blender is the best way to do that. Putting it in a blender in batches is an option but it’s very messy. Much easier to blend it directly in the pan.
Warming firework night soup
- 1.1 kg Butternut squash
- 1.1 kg Sweet potato
- 500 g Parsnips
- 600 g Onions
- 600 g Leeks
- 500 g Carrots
- 50 g Low salt bouillon Marigold is very good
- 800 g Chopped tomatoes 2 cans worth
- 400 g Coconut milk 1 cans worth
- 350 g Red lentils
- 100 g Creamed coconut
- 3 cubes Onion stock cubes I prefer Kallo stock cubes
- 1 whole Garlic bulbs
- 30 g Fresh ginger
- 250 g raw beetroot
- 50 G Lemon juice A large lemon
- 1 tbsps Soy sauce
- 25 g Coconut oil for onions & leeks
- 4 whole finger Chillies or a couple of scotch bonnets
- 2.5 litres water
- Chop the butternut squash into roughly 2 cm chunks and roast in the oven (or actifry) at 180°C with some rapeseed oil for around 30 minutes
- Chop the sweet potatoes into roughly 2 cm chunks and roast in the oven (or actifry) at 180°C with some rapeseed oil for around 30 minutes
- Chop the parsnips into roughly 2 cm chunks and roast in the oven at 180°C with some rapeseed oil.
- peel and chop the beetroot and add it to one of the veggies that you're roasting, or you can cheat and buy some ready cooked beetroot and just chuck it in near the end.....
- Chop the onions and the carrots and add them to a large 11litre pan with some coconut oil - add in the finely chopped ginger too plus the chillies
- cut the leeks into 2cm lengths and add to the large pan and sautee also
- Add in the crushed garlic after this, and continue to saute until the veggies have softened.
- if making the double quantity, then divide into two pans equally, otherwise just leave in the same pan.
- Add in the rest of the veggies that you have been roasting, (half in each pan if making the larger quantity)
- Then add in the rest of the ingredients - the tomatoes, coconut milk, veg stock powder, stock cubes etc.
- Add in the water, and bring to the boil, and then turn the heat down so that it is just bubbling gently.
- boil a kettle of water for the red split lentils - you will need 1.75 litres of water (it's 500ml per 100g of lentils)
- tip the washed lentils into a large pan.
- add the boiling water to the lentils, bring to the boil again and simmer gently, for 25 minutes - stirring occasionally. It will go to mush - but this will thicken the soup perfectly.
- Add in the squeezed lemon juice.
- Continue to simmer until the veggies are tender and then add the fully cooked lentils.
- Using a stick blender and a large wooden spoon, stir the mixture as you blend it. Try to get all the large lumps, but don't over blend it, you're looking for a textured mixture with some pureed veg and a few smaller lumps.
- For a large firework night, with 60 people to serve 250g in a cup I used a double quantity of this soup. There is generally a little left over, which I then freeze for later consumption.
- As with all cooking, you have to use your judgement - don't slavishly follow the recipe. If you like a bit more of something, add it in. The main thing is the consistency. You don't want it too thick - nor too runny - if it's too thick you won't be able to drink it from a cup, and if it's too runny it won't be so satisfying and tasty. This should be pretty much spot on, but as you add the water, just make sure it's not getting too thin, and likewise if it's looking a bit thick, add more water.
- Also, the quantities are just a guide - a bit more or a bit less of any particular vegetable ingredient won't make any appreciable difference. Veg stock cubes and soy sauce yes, but not veggies. So if one or two butternut squashes are a bit over or a bit under don't worry.