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When Life Gives You Parsnip Soup, Make Parsnip Pancakes … or Muffins


So your soup wasn’t a unanimous household crowd pleaser, or you simply made too much soup to even freeze? Here are a couple of food life hacks to save the day and your pocketbook.

Happy March! It’s spring – well, almost! We kicked off the new month with a trip to the Farmers’ Market and now in our kitchen, it’s all about greens and root vegetables. So in celebration of our first soup for the month, we made parsnip soup – but with some mixed reviews.

The parsnip actually was a gift bowl from our neighbors who are away on winter holiday. While I had heard of this root veggie and had seen it in the grocery store, I had never eaten it until yesterday. However, this cream-colored root packs a pleasantly sweet flavor and for me, it was great. However, for our delightfully snarky teen girl? Well, let’s just say she was less than enthusiastic about the outcome.

‘So I waited until 3 o’clock to eat … THIS?’

Our weekend shopping excursion took us to both the Farmers’ Market but also shoe shopping. By the time we returned home, it was well past lunch time, and well, I just had to try the parsnip. We dished some of the soup into bowls and began eating. All it took was two slurps for her to say, “’So, I waited until 3 o’clock to eat … THIS?’” My first reaction was, ‘you should be thankful I’ve made anything.’

The “this” in “that”

After a negotiation of other meal options, I sent her on her way. But, I still couldn’t stop thinking about the parsnip. The “this” was the unexpected sweetness and how it impacted the soup recipe.

When cooked and sweated, apparently parsnip gets really sweet, more so than carrots. For many of our soup recipes, we normally sweat our vegetables before adding them to broth. However, when cooking parsnip, this process intensifies the sweetness. Therefore, 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.

‘Necessity is the mother of invention’

I ended up storing the soup in the fridge overnight. I hated to waste a perfectly good pot of soup, and surely there had to be other recipes that would accommodate. I found luck after a bit of research. By simply adding a few extra ingredients like flour, eggs and spices (savory or sweet) to the existing soup, I could have two pretty cool alternative recipes for pancakes and muffins. See? As the saying goes, ‘necessity is the mother of invention.’

Making Pancakes (Savory)

  1. Store the parsnip soup overnight. Pour 1/4 of the container into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add two cups of flour (any kind of your choice)
  3. Add 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  4. Add 1 egg
  5. Add 1/8 cup of milk or water
  6. Add 1/8 teaspoon of white vinegar
  7. Add 1/4 teaspoon of coconut oil (optional)
  8. Salt to taste and mix
  9. Heat the pan and add vegetable oil. Pour a bit of the oil into the mixture and stir.
  10. Reduce the heat of the pan and scoop in the mixture for pancakes. Cook on each side for about three to five minutes

The Final Verdict

And what says the teen girl? Well, she didn’t like the soup, but do you know what she DID like? The pancakes and the muffins! It just goes to show that you can make pancakes and muffins out of soup! Who knew?

As for me, here are the common sense lessons learned:

  1. Taste the unfamiliar vegetable raw instead of cooked. If I had done this, I would have already determined that the parsnip would be sweet.
  2. Don’t sweat root vegetables – particularly carrots and parsnip if you don’t want intense sweetness in your recipe. Once this does happen, you can tone down the sweetness by adding spices like cumin, nutmeg or lemon juice.
  3. Deviate from the recipe to reduce sweetness. Instead of adding 4 parsnip to the recipe, reduce the number of parsnip by half.
  4. Be open to alternative ideas for recipes. If the soup didn’t come out the way you expected, check to see if there is an alternative recipe that will suit. After all, no one has money to waste.

Pretty easy advice, huh? We’re off to enjoy our muffins as snacks. While the recipes were not Simply Souperlicious, their alternatives came out just “souper” nonetheless and that’s a pretty cool hack.


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.


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