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Recipe for family meals :

Parsnip, Lentil and Sweet Potato Purée

Like most busy mothers, Sian Blunos wanted to feed her baby well, but as a trained chef, working alongside her Michelin-starred chef husband, she didn’t have a lot of free time. This is one of the recipes she has created and published in her book entitled Cooking for Coco - to find out more have a look at the articler under Interesting Bites <click here>

"Babies tend to like both parsnips and sweet potatoes as they contain a lot of natural sugars so they make ideal first foods. Sweet potatoes have a much higher concentration of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than normal potatoes".


1 ounce butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 small clove garlic, peeled and chopped
2 sweet potatoes (approximately 1 pound), washed and cut into small dice
1 large parsnip (approximately 10 ounces), washed and cut into dice
1/2 cup red lentils, washed in cold water and drained
1 tablespoon tomato purée
10 - 12 ounces water or unsalted vegetable stock

  • In a saucepan, melt the butter and oil over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and fry gently for about 2 minutes, until the onions are soft. Add all the other ingredients apart from the water or vegetable stock and fry for another 2 minutes.
  • Pour enough water or stock into the saucepan to cover the vegetable mixture and bring to the boil. Simmer for 25 minutes over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add more water or stock if necessary.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and strain the vegetable mixture over a bowl. Reserve the liquid. Blend the vegetable mixture in a processor or blender. Add a little of the reserved liquid to correct the texture if necessary.
  • Leave on the side to cool. Divide into portions and serve or freeze.

Technique Tip:

With most of these recipes you can use a food processor or blender to produce a puréed mixture. However, if you are using potatoes, you should add them as small dice just before serving. If they are blended, the starch they contain causes them to break down into a gluey mess.

As your baby grows and has more teeth, you can mash or chop the food instead. The textures will encourage your baby to chew. You will be the best judge of when you can start to do this.

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Makes 6 - 8 portions

Sian Blunos

© Cooking for Coco, Sian Blunos 2003