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Parsnip Soup

Parsnip Soup


The main stars of this soup, parsnips, are part of the parsley family and provide folate, fiber, and phenolic acids, which may help reduce production of cancerous cells. They contain ample amounts of soluble fiber, which moderates fat and cholesterol absorption in the intestines while diluting bile acids to prevent reflux.


  • White wine (optional)
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-5 large parsnips, chopped into rounds
  • 1 Cup yellow chopped onion
  • 1 Teaspoon each dried thyme, coriander, and nutmeg
  • 2 Teaspoons salt
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • 7 Cups water


Calories Per Serving135

Folate equivalent (total)62µg16%

Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled and cubed
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 cube chicken bouillon
  • 3 ¼ cups boiling water
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes or paprika for garnish

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Fry the onion in butter until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the parsnips, garlic and curry powder, and fry for a couple of minutes to release the flavors. Mix the bouillon cube into the boiling water, and pour into the saucepan. Stir to remove any bits of vegetable from the bottom of the pot. Simmer for 15 minutes or until parsnips are soft and easy to break with a wooden spoon.

Remove from the heat, and blend with a hand mixer or immersion blender. Stir in the cream, and heat through. Do not boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with red pepper flakes or paprika.

One: Put the oil in the pan and then add the shallots, parsnips, apple and garlic and gently cook on low for 5 minutes.

Two: Add the stock and salt and pepper. Stir and simmer for 25 minutes until the parsnips have softened.

Three: Blend the soup until desired consistency and stir in the creme fraiche.

Steps to Make It

Peel and chop the onion or leek if using a leek, be sure to rinse the resulting pieces perfectly clean so your soup won't be gritty.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the chopped onion or leek and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is a bit creamy looking, about 10 minutes. Adjust the heat, if needed, so the onions or leeks cook but don't start to brown.

While the onions or leeks cook, peel and mince the garlic clove. Add the garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.

While the onion or leek cook, also peel and chop the parsnips. Add them and the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook until the parsnips are very tender to the bite, about 20 minutes.

Purée the soup until very smooth. The easiest way to do this is to use a hand-held immersion blender.

Alternatively, work in batches and transfer the soup to a blender or food processor (cover the blender with a kitchen towel to avoid potential burns) and whirl each batch until utterly smooth. For a truly ultra-smooth soup, strain through a fine-mesh sieve, if you like.

Add the milk and gently heat, stirring occasionally, until nice and hot all the way through. (Be careful not to let the soup come to a boil since that will curdle the milk.) While the soup heats, finely chop or mince any herbs you want to use as a garnish. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve hot, garnished with fresh chopped herbs, if you like. Enjoy!

Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.

  • 2 pounds parsnips, peeled and woody core removed (see Tip)
  • 2 pears, peeled and cut into eighths
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, peeled and cut into eighths
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
  • 2 ¼ cups low-fat milk

Position rack in lower third of oven preheat to 450 degrees F.

Toss parsnips, pears, onion, oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a roasting pan. Roast, stirring every 10 minutes, until very soft and starting to brown, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil vinegar in a small saucepan until syrupy and reduced to about 1/4 cup, 10 to 14 minutes. (Watch the syrup carefully during the last few minutes of reducing to prevent burning.) Remove from the heat.

Puree half of the parsnip mixture with broth in a blender until very smooth transfer to a large saucepan. Puree the other half with milk until very smooth. Add to the saucepan and stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Reheat the soup over medium heat, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Gently reheat the balsamic syrup if it has become thicker than syrup while standing. Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle with the balsamic syrup.

Tip: Remove the fibrous, woody core of parsnips before using: quarter parsnip lengthwise and cut out the core with a paring knife.

1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the butter, onions and garlic. Fry for about 5 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the parsnips and stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer covered for 20 minutes until the parsnips are tender, then blend to a smooth purée with half the cream using either a stick or tabletop blender. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed, then serve with the remaining cream swirled through the soup and a little freshly grated nutmeg.

Adam's tip: If you're making soup, make more than you need and freeze the rest in portions so that you can break them out as an easy first course. Soups freeze exceptionally well.

Find more of Adam Liaw's recipes in the Good Food New Classics cookbook.

Roasted Parsnip Soup

Step 2 : Toss parsnips, garlic, red onion, rosemary and apple with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and season with salt and pepper.

Step 3 : Place in a large roasting tray and roast for 30 minutes or until all vegetables are golden and have softened. Remove the woody rosemary stems.

Step 4 : Pour the Verjuice over the vegetables in the roasting tray and return to the oven for another 5 minutes until slightly burnished.

Step 5 : Transfer the roasted vegetables to a saucepan. Add the Chicken Stock and cream and bring to the boil.

Step 6 : Reduce the temperature and simmer for 10 minutes adding salt and checking the seasoning.

Step 7 : Using a stick blender, blend the contents of the saucepan and thin the mixture with extra Chicken Stock if too thick.

Step 8 : Adjust seasoning and serve with a dollop of cream fraiche and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

Parsnip Soup

For those who've never tasted a parsnip, this subtly sweet soup would make a fine introduction. It would be an elegant addition to a fall or winter menu.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6-8 servings makes about 2 quarts


Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the parsnips, carrot, onion, celery and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the broth and bay leaf and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, adjusting the heat to keep the liquid barely bubbling around the edges of the pan, until all of the vegetables are cooked through and tender.

Discard the bay leaf. Transfer the broth and vegetables to a food processor or transfer to a blender, removing the center knob from the lid and covering the opening with a clean dish towel to contain any splash-ups. Process or blend to a smooth puree. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into the same pot in which you cooked the vegetables. Add the cream season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Return the saucepan to the stove over medium heat and cook until the soup begins to barely bubble around the edges.

Serve hot, garnished with a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe by Patrick O'Connell, chef-proprietor of the Inn at Little Washington.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 1/2 pounds parsnips (about 7), peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 medium onion (8 ounces), cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 ounces Spanish chorizo, very thinly sliced (2/3 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced (1 tablespoon), plus 1 clove, minced (1 teaspoon)
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Caper Tapenade, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss parsnips and onion with 2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast 15 minutes. Flip roast until golden brown and tender, about 20 minutes more.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium-high, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add chorizo and cook, turning, until crisp and golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small plate. Reduce heat to medium and add sliced garlic cook until just golden, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer to plate with chorizo reserve oil in skillet.

Transfer roasted vegetables to a medium saucepan add broth, 1/2 cup water, and minced garlic. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until vegetables are very soft, about 10 minutes. Working in batches, blend until smooth (if necessary, thin with up to 1/4 cup water total). Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, heat soup through in saucepan over medium-high. Serve, topping each bowl with a few pieces of chorizo and cooked garlic, a spoonful of caper tapenade, and a drizzle of reserved chorizo oil.

Parsnip-and-Pear Soup Recipe

Never heard of eating pears in soup? Well, this recipe will make you rethink all the flavorful combinations to be had in a delicious bowl of soup or stew. Slightly sweet with a hint of spice, this velvety smooth soup showcases the delicate flavor of parsnips. A parsnip is a creamy-white, carrot-shaped root vegetable with a unique piquant, yet sweet flavor. This Parsnip-and-Pear Soup recipe makes for a savory and creamy addition to your fall and winter soup lineup. Since both parsnips and pears are naturally sweet, the garlic and onion add another depth of flavor, offering the perfect contrast. This soup recipe is relatively easy to make and the result is quite delicious, sure to please your guests and family. Cook, covered, for about 7 hours in a 4-quart slow cooker, or until the parsnips and pears are soft. For best results, use ripe pears. Lastly, stir half-and-half into the soup, blend the soup mixture until smooth, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish, if desired, with cooked and crumbled bacon and fresh rosemary sprigs for a pop of color and smoky flavor. Serve it as a first course or as a light main dish with crusty whole-grain bread. We also recommend serving this warming treat with a tasty sandwich for the ultimate cold weather combination.