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Creamy Black Salsify and Potato Soup


Happy Saturday, Soupers! So recently we mentioned that we would talk about Black Salsify and why it’s an interesting ingredient to add to a potato soup!

As you’ll see, Black Salsify is a root vegetable. Often referred to as the « oyster » plant, it was first cultivated in Spain but now is available widely throughout western Europe during fall and winter months.

A little history lesson: during the 16th century, it was widely believed to be a successful remedy in treating both snake bites and also in warding off the bubonic plague. Hmmm…not sure about the second one.

Here’s a confession: before today, I’d never prepared Black Salsify. In fact prior to moving to Europe, I’d never heard of it. I’d passed it so many times in the market, but only in mild curiosity did I pick it up. However, as part of our food challenge — to at least try all fruits and vegetables unknown to me — I decided to see if I could turn it into a soup.

I don’t know why I thought it would taste closer to carrots or even parsnip. If fact, Black Salsify is really bland and has virtually not taste at all. Therefore, you really have to combine it with vegetables like carrots to give them flavor. Potatoes gives weight.

And, don’t be stingy with spices and also black pepper. (But not too much pepper). Taste for this soup will be largely subjective. In the end, the final batch came out really


1 lb of salsify, peeled and chopped
2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped, roasted
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped, roasted
8 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1/8 teaspoon rosemary
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon all spice
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon garam masala
Pinch of ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
1 red onion
1 leek
1 shallot (raw), chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 sprig thyme
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne powder
1/8 teaspoon spicy paprika
5 cup(s) vegetable stock
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon lemon-infused olive oil
2 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar
Pinch salt
1 cup, cashew and coconut milk
1 tablespoon coconut butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 squeeze lemon
1 squeeze sage honey
Parsley for garnish

Author picture
Carolyn Moncel

Carolyn Davenport-Moncel is a digital media and communication consultant, author, mother, contrarian, book, music and reformed veggie lover and Founder and Souper-in-Chief at Simply Souperlicious, a platform devoted to helping fans "fall back in love with veggies" -- one local, seasonal, soup recipe at a time. Follow her veggie and soup journey on social media @simplysouperlicious.

by Carolyn Moncel
  • Prep 25min
  • Cook60min
  • Meal Time Dinner
  • Serves 4


Roasted Carrots and Parsnip:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place all ingredients on foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil and honey on on all ingredients . Sprinkle on rosemary, ground cumin.
2. Roast all ingredients for 25-35 minutes, until they can be easily pierced with a fork. Scoop up contents and place in a separate dish.
Prepping Salsify:
  1. Salsify root is usually considered inedible.
  2. Remove it by peeling it while raw, or boil the roots in a pot for roughly 25 mins and then remove the black skin.
  3. Once peeled, place the roots in cold lemon water in order to preserve the color.
  4. Finally, when chopping salsify, the root emits a sticky white substance that can stick to hands.
  5. Either wear gloves, or remove the substance from hands by rubbing a drop of oil and soap.
For Soup:
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil in large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add onions, shallots, garlic and sweat until translucent and soft.
  2. Pour in 1-2 cups vegetable stock. Add sweated vegetables, thyme, paprika, carrots, potatoes, and parsnips. Add just enough stock to cover the surface of the contents of the soup (you can always add more stock later to thin down, if necessary!)
  3. Season with ground cayenne, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, ginger, apple-cider vinegar, salt & pepper.
  4. Bring soup to a low simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Using an immersion blender or stand blender and add coconut butter and cashew coconut milk, blend soup until smooth—you may need to do this in two batches depending on your size blender. If the soup is still a bit thin, stir in a flour and soup mixture for thickness. Place soup back in pot and reheat to serve. Season and add a final splash of lemon and ground pepper.
  6. Garnish with fresh parsley.

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