Soup Surprise with MMU Environment

We wandered into the MetMUnch kitchen this lunchtime and who did we bump into but the Manchester Met Environment Team’s very own Ailsa!

Ailsa was warming an absolutely sumptuous soup – we asked what was in it and she reeled off a list of delicious vegetables (including a munchkin, our personal favourite). What’s more, all 11 ingredients cost just 35p!! That’s just over 3p per item!

We had to get the recipe for the soup, and Ailsa kindly shared it with us. Check it out below and enjoy a hearty, cheap, and sustainable soup this weekend.

value vegetable soup by ailsa McConnachie–Folwell

Going to reduced sections in supermarkets is one of my favourite things to do. Sounds crazy, but it’s like going on an adventure – you never know what is going to be there. It’s always a surprise, and when you bag a bargain, you feel great! As a result of buying reduced goods, I’ve become a lot more creative with my cooking, as well as saving a lot of money.

A few days ago, I went into my local Sainsbury’s to find a pile of vegetables were reduced. I bought 3 carrots, a swede, an onion, a parsnip, a munchkin (mini pumpkin) and some tomatoes for only 35p. There was one thing to do with it –  make a hearty, warming, healthy, winter soup.



  • 3 carrots
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 onion
  • 1 swede
  • 1 munchkin
  • 1 large potato
  • 4 tomatoes
  • Tablespoon of mustard (I used wholegrain but any will do!)
  • 1 stock cube
  • Enough water to cover all the veg once they’re in the pan
  • 1 teaspoon oil (I used rapeseed, but any will do)


  1. Dice your onion and add to a large pan, on a medium-high heat, with the teaspoon of oil. Let the onion cook for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the carrot, swede, parsnip, potato, tomatoes and munchkin into chunks, roughly 1 inch. (I don’t peel my veg, I just scrub it under water) Add to the pan with the onion and give it a good stir for a minute or so.
  3. Add water to the pan – enough to just cover the vegetables. Add the stock cube and tablespoon of mustard and stir.
  4. Let the water come to a boil, then reduce the heat so the veg are simmering.
  5. After about 10 minutes, poke the veg with a knife to see if they are cooked. If they aren’t, let them simmer for 3-4 minutes longer.
  6. When everything is cooked, take off the heat. Blend the soup using a blender (or leave chunky).
  7. Season as desired and serve with crusty bread. Enjoy!


  • Any vegetables can be turned into soup – I even put lettuce leaves in a soup once!
  • Peeling vegetables removes all the nutrients that are under the skin. I say leave the skins on!
  • Mustard goes really well with vegetables – it gives them a fuller flavour and adds depth to dishes like soups, stews and bakes.