When I tell people about parsnip soup, they usually say, “I guess I’m not entirely sure what a parsnip is”. Basically it looks like a fatter, colorless carrot and tastes kind of like a carrot, too. To me, root vegetables are a total winter staple and this soup is hearty, filling, and very wintry. It pairs quite well with my goat cheese biscuits. It’s also vegetarian, vegan, and paleo-friendly, though I personally am neither of the three.
You will need to puree the soup and there are a few ways to do it. If you have an immersion blender, that works. If you don’t, or don’t have great luck with them (for me, it results in spraying hot soup all over everything), you can use a regular blender. If you do that, I recommend making the soup in advance and letting it cool a bit before blending, then reheating over a low-heat stove before you serve. The last time we made this, we actually refrigerated it overnight after blending and it tasted great the next day. I haven’t had too much trouble locating parsnips this time of year, my grocery store had them in a bag with a little under 2lbs, which is perfect.
Serves about 8, and makes an excellent leftover
2 celery stalks
1T fresh ginger, peeled
3 cloves garlic
6 cups vegetable broth (or chicken if you have it and aren’t making it for vegetarians)
1. Roughly chop the carrots, celery, onion, ginger, and parsnips (you CAN peel them, but I just wash and cut off the tops). Toss all of the veg with 2T of olive oil in a large pot (I use a big dutch oven) over medium heat. Stir occasionally for about 10 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the vegetable broth and a little water if the broth doesn’t cover the vegetables.
2. Bring the soup to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Turn the stove off and allow the mixture to cool enough to handle. Transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Warm the soup on the stove to serve.
Source: adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution
The soup is very inexpensive and easy to make. You can top with cilantro or goat cheese if you have it, but it’s certainly not necessary. It’s also a great way to get in a few servings of vegetables, which always great in January.