As chilly weather settles in and the holidays approach, you need a delightful parsnip soup recipe in your arsenal of cozy comfort food recipes. Easy enough to be whipped up on busy weeknights but festive enough to be a tasty starter or side come Thanksgiving or Christmas, every home cook should know how to make parsnip soup.
If you’re unfamiliar with parsnips, they’re root vegetables closely related to carrots. They tend to have similar appearances (parsnips often get mistaken for carrots, but they are much paler) and even flavor profiles. However, parsnips offer a starchier texture and earthier taste (similar to potatoes) that make them great for roasting with spices, or making into a hearty, creamy soup. They are easy enough to come by in the fall until spring, so it’s high time they become a staple in your fall recipe rotation.1
Are Parsnips Good For You?
Parsnips are rich in vitamins and minerals essential for supporting healthy immune function. In fact, one serving of this root veggie provides 25 percent of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C — especially needed during the cold and flu season that comes with the chilly nights. Parsnips are also rich in fiber and low in calories.2
Choosing And Storing Parsnips
When selecting fresh parsnips in the grocery store or farmer’s market, look for firm flesh and even coloration. Avoid those with mushy and/or dark spots. Look for fresh green tops if they still have them. After purchasing, store them refrigerated in a sealed bag to help them stay fresh longer.3
How To Make Creamy Vegan Parsnip Soup
This recipe gets a boost of sweetness from sweet potatoes, and roasting both vegetables beforehand gives the soup an even deeper and richer flavor — so don’t skip this step. In lieu of heavy cream, coconut milk creates the rich texture while keeping this parsnip soup recipe vegan-friendly (and also gluten-free).
- 5-6 cups cubed parsnips (about 3 large pieces, peeled before chopping)
- 1 sweet potato (peeled and cubed)
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ large onion (diced)
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ dry white wine
- 5-6 cups vegetable broth
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss cubed parsnips and sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil, one teaspoon salt, and fresh rosemary. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet, and roast vegetables in the hot oven for about 30 minutes.
- Warm up the last one tablespoon olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add chopped onions and let soften and brown. Deglaze the pan by adding white wine, letting it bubble up.
- Add vegetable broth or stock, and bring to a boil. After a couple minutes of a rolling boil, stir in coconut milk, and season with salt and red pepper flakes. Bring soup back to a boil.
- Stir in roasted parsnips and sweet potatoes, and let them cook for a few minutes.
- Take off from heat and blend into a smooth and creamy consistency with an immersion blender, or transfer to a blender or food processor to finish the job.
- If desired, garnish with more fresh rosemary and pepper flakes, and add a swirl of olive oil for a pretty presentation.4
Freezing And Reheating Leftover Creamy Parsnip Soup
Unlike the broth-based counterparts, creamy or starchy soups do not have a reputation for freezing well or for too long. Should you have a lot of leftovers, store them in batches or in single serving-sized glass or plastic resealable containers. This way, you don’t need to thaw and reheat a large potion of leftover soup at a time (which definitely impacts flavor and texture). Don’t overfill the container, as soup expands in the freezer. When a craving for some comfort food hits, simply thaw and reheat the serving portion you wish to eat.5
Don’t Pass Over Parsnips
If you’re fond of root vegetable-based recipes in the colder months, definitely reach for the parsnips more often. Aside from rich and creamy soup, they are handy for making great french fries (whether deep-fried or roasted) and vegetable chips. They also make a refreshing change from the usual mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes often served at festive fall feasts. Give this earthy root crop a chance, and you’ll be glad to have expanded your veggie recipe repertoire.