Parsnip & Apple Soup



by Cat, Oct 2007 (Photo, right, originally from Wikipedia: Parsnip, but no longer there, Nov 2013)

My Dad used parsnips in stew and vegetable beef soup, but beyond that, I’d not explored the wonderful flavor this nutrient-rich, pale carrot-like vegetable could add to soups. I suspect that most Americans don’t know anything about this veggie, let alone how to cook it.

According to SF Gate (3): they provide awide variety of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, including dietary fiber, folate, potassium and vitamin C. See Root Vegetables (About) for more.

This is a great fall soup, made with freshly-harvested parsnips and apples from the tree. You want an apple that is good for applesauce, such as McIntosh or Braeburn, because you want that same mushy texture for this soup.

See also: 1. Soups & Stocks menu; 2. Croutons (Basic, Garlic, or Herb); 3. Root Vegetables (About)

Parsnip & Apple Soup

This recipe is adapted from Good Housekeeping magazine, October 2007 (1), and serves 3 – 4.  It is seasoned with thyme and celery, and garnished with nutmeg or coriander; it may also be made more creamy with the addition of cream.

Another variation, from The Irish Heritage Cookbook (2), seasons the soup with 1 tsp curry powder, ½ tsp each ground cumin and coriander, ¼ tsp ground cardamom, and a crushed clove of garlic, instead of the thyme and celery.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • Herbed Croutons, or roasted hulled pumpkin seeds, for garnish
  • 2 cups homemade Chicken Stock or Broth (try the rich chicken stock recipe)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped (¼ cup)
  •  ½ celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 pound (2-3) MacIntosh or Braeburn apples; peeled, cored and chopped
  •  ½ pound parsnips; scrubbed and chopped
  • ⅛ tsp dried thyme, or to taste
  • Unrefined sea salt and pepper
  • Optional ingredients & garnishes:
  • ⅓  –  ½ cup light cream
  • chopped fresh parsley (optional garnish)
  • sour cream or creme fraiche (optional garnish)
  • nutmeg or coriander (optional garnish)
  • Equipment:
  • 1  ½ or 2 quart saucepan
  • 3 – 4 quart saucepot
  • medium bowl
  • blender with cover


  1. Prep: Presoak and roast the hulled pumpkin seeds if you have none on hand (see Soaking & Sprouting Nuts & Seeds). If you presoak them, start at least 1 day in advance.
  2. OR: Prepare the croutons.
  3. Prep veggies and apples: chop shallot and celery; scrub & chop parsnips; peel, core and chop apples. Assemble the herbs and spices.
  4. Soup: Heat broth and water to boiling in the smaller saucepan, covered, over high heat.
  5. Meanwhile heat oil over medium heat, in the larger saucepot.  Add shallots and celery, and cook about 5 minutes or until softened and lightly browned.
  6. Add apples, parsnips, thyme, salt and pepper to taste; cook 1 minute.
  7. Add hot broth mixture to saucepot; cover and heat to boiling over high heat.
  8. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 6 to 7 minutes, or until parsnips are very tender.
  9. Spoon 1/2 of this mixture into a blender; cover (but remove center part of lid to let steam escape), and puree until smooth.  Pour puree into bowl.  Repeat with remaining mixture.
  10. Return to saucepot to reheat.  Add cream if desired, and stir to combine.

Assembly or Serving Suggestions

  • Ladle into bowls and garnish with herbed croutons, or roasted hulled pumpkin seeds.
  • Ladle into bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche, and a light sprinkling of ground nutmeg or coriander.


  1. Good Housekeeping magazine, October 2007
  2. Irish Heritage Cookbook, by Margaret M. Johnson
  3. SF Gate:

About Cat

See my 'About' page
This entry was posted in Blended, Dairy, Fat or oil, Herbs, Onion family, Root Veggie, Sauteed, Simmered, Spices, Stock, broth and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply