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Creamy Parsnip and Potato Soup


If you’ve never eaten parsnip soup, you’re in for a very pleasant surprise. The cream-color root packs a light, sweet flavor. Personally, because of the sweetness, we preferred serving it chilled instead of warm. Check out this easy recipe, that builds off our Potato Soup and let us know what you prefer.

Yesterday when my next-door neighbor left with her husband for a vacation in the United States, she asked if I would feed her cat.

As an advance thank you, she left a bowl of fruits and vegetables on the kitchen table. She scribbled a quick note to me that said, “Please take it all so that it doesn’t go to waste!”

Since my family and I eat a LOT of fruits and veggies now and given the price of produce in Switzerland, the bowl of food was a welcomed gift. After observing the contents, I came across one vegetable that I have never eaten: parsnip. I knew what it was but that was all, and so the intrigue and discovery began. I wondered if I could make a soup out of it, and absolutely I could. There were more than a dozen recipes already available so I used them as a basic guide then improvised the rest of the way. For people like us — the newly initiated, adding a bit of potato hits the spot. The result was rich yet light and delicious soup. Pair the soup with either a crusty bread like a baguette or cornbread and you have a full meal. If your children are finicky eaters like mine, then the taste of this flavorful soup will come as a complete yet delightful shock.

One note of caution: Parsnip when can get really sweet, more so than carrots. While we normally sweat our vegetables before adding them to soups, here it intensifies the sweetness. So be sure to add the parsnip separately from the other vegetables and add to the broth after all the other ingredients have cooked for at least 15 minutes. If you don’t like the soup, don’t throw it away. Use the soup and turn it into pancakes or muffins!


Measurement Conversion Chart

  • 4 medium parsnip, chopped (because of sweetness, you consider halving the number of parsnips)

  • 4 small, potatoes peeled and cut into pieces

  • 1 leek

  • 1 shallot (raw), chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, chopped

  • 1 green onion, chopped

  • Spring of thyme chopped

  • 5 cup(s) chicken stock with 1 chicken bouillon cube (vegetable stock)

  • 2 slices of bacon (raw)

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • Pinch salt and pepper to taste

  • Pinch of cumin

  • 1 cup, 2 % milk (soy, almond, rice or skim as alternatives work fine)

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 tablespoon, crème fraîche or fresh cream

  • 1 squeeze lemon

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 Lunch
  • Serves 4


  1. Bring chicken stock to a boil with bouillon. Add bacon, balsamic vinegar, thyme and bay leave to the stock. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 20 minutes.

  2. In a pan, heat the olive oil with potatoes, green onions, leeks, garlic, and shallots. Sauté for two to three minutes until vegetables are soft. Then, remove the pan from the heat.

  3. Add vegetable mixture from the pan to the boiling chicken stock and continue cooking on low heat for 35 minutes.

  4. Additionally just after, add the chopped, raw parsnips to the mixture within 15 minutes of cook time. Add a pinch of cumin.

  5. Near the end of cook time (ten minutes), remove the bay leaves.

  6. Remove the soup mixture from heat and cool for roughly 5 minutes before transferring to a blender.

  7. Add milk, butter, and cream to the mixture in the blender. Blend to desired consistency.

  8. Re-add the soup to the kettle and add a splash of lemon juice. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

  9. Finish off with lemon juice and serve in a bowl. Serve warm or chilled.

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