Wednesday 4 April 2012

Roast Parsnip and Garlic Soup

Don't you just hate it when something you've taught your kids comes back to bite you in the bum? Like, literally in the bum <blush>? I apologize in advance for the slightly unedifying contents of the next paragraph, so if you're not into... ahem... flatulence, you can skip to the paragraph after, no worse for the wear.

As any responsible parent, I've drummed the value of saying 'excuse me' into Aditi. Especially if she coughs, sneezes and erm... 'put-puts' (a more childish term for aforementioned bodily sound) Except when you then are in the library, and you really have to 'put-put' yourself. So, of course, you find a deserted corner, and let out a discreet 'put'. Not even a damn 'put-put' just a lousy, barely there 'put'. And then your utterly polite child bellows (and I mean, really bellows out!) 'mummy, mummy, you made a put-put and didn't say 'excuse me''... hehe... erm... excuse me? And then, to my horror, that little rat plugs her nose and goes 'pheeeeewww, disgusting mummy!' What? That did NOT stink. It so did not!!! A speedy exit was then made! Damn children and their utter lack of respect, I tell ya... kids these days!

3Roast Parsnip and Garlic Soup

After that slightly unsavoury detour... you're probably wondering why I am talking of aforementioned bodily sounds in a food blog. Well, parsnips of course! These yummy root vegetables have the unfortunate reputation of being flatulence inducing. And yeah, there is a scientific explanation for it too, which we shall not get into here, but I can tell you right here and now, that I will endure any amount of 'put-putting' if I can have this soup to make up for it.

I love parsnips. Roasted, poached, mashed... you name it, I love it. While many a time its considered a staple at festive tables, I personally think its a real shame that its not more of an everyday vegetable like the carrot, for instance. I always buy my parsnips and most of my herbs locally, and I like the fact that these vegetables haven't travelled a long way to get to my table (not that I am against freight, but still, the taste of fresh, locally grown fruit and veg is really something else!)

Parsnips are some of the few vegetables that are able to stand up to cold storage, which means that are perfect winter vegetables. And this soup is my swansong to winter, as we enter into a new, lighter, fresher season. The sweetness in this soup is only cut through by the oniony tang of chives. Roasting the parsnips and garlic intensifies the natural sweetness, and makes this soup incredibly rich and creamy, even without the addition of heavy cream, which I tend to skip over anyway. I also added a few more cloves of garlic into the soup base in order to add a more traditional garlic flavour, and I loved it as it added another level of depth to the soup. The base of this soup is ridiculously easy to make, and is a perfect foil for the parsnips.

All this soup needs is a few pieces of crusty bread to mop up all that sweet, rich creaminess, and hey, you've got everything sorted. Except for the aforementioned bodily sounds though... but you'll have to trust me when I say this soup is totally and utterly worth it, sounds or no sounds :)

Roast Parsnip and Garlic Soup


(Printable Recipe)

1 kilo parsnips
5 - 6 fat cloves of garlic + 2 extra cloves
1 - 2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 sticks of celery, diced
4 - 5 cups vegetable stock + a little extra if required
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream (optional)
Fresh chives, snipped, to garnish


Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Peel and chop the parsnips into large chunks. Place in a baking tray.

Slice the tops off the 5 - 6 garlic cloves, but do not peel them. Place in the baking tray with the parsnips.

Drizzle over the olive oil, tossing to coat evenly. Place in the oven and roast for 30 - 40 minutes, until the parsnips are very tender. Take out of the oven and leave to cool a little. Peel the roasted garlic.

Meanwhile, place the butter in a heavy pot, and add the diced onion and celery. Sweat for about 5 - 7 minutes, until soft, but not coloured.

Peel and slice the remaining 2 cloves of garlic and add to the onion - celery mixture. Saute for about a minute.

Add 4 cups of the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes, then leave to cool. Add the roasted parsnips and garlic to the soup base, then transfer to a blender.

Puree to a creamy consistency, adding more stock as required to thin it down a little, if you like. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the pureed soup into a pot, and add the heavy cream, if using. Reheat until piping hot, not allowing the soup to to boil hard.

Adjust seasoning, and ladle into bowls, garnishing with a few snipped chives.

Roast Parsnip and Garlic Soup


  1. Haha, that is so funny. I have all that to come with Cooper. And as to the parsnips didn't know that. I just made, ate and blogged about Honey Parsnip Crisps today. Let's leave it there :)

  2. Ah kids, gotta love them!

    The soup sounds amazing Michelle! I will most definitely be giving it a try.

  3. haha, you're so funny Michelle! The recipe looks delicious :)

  4. ha ha .. loved your write up, very funny. snaps look lovely too.

  5. LOL!! That Kid of yours is super adorable :) :)

  6. Oh yes, kids can say the darnedest things! You'll have many of these 'moments' over the years! And many laughs later on recalling those 'moments'!

    Your soup is just luscious looking! And the photos are perfect! So pretty!

  7. HIlarious story!! Kids are so innocent...and their innocence can sometimes cause a lot of embarassement :) Love the pictures!

  8. I love parsnips too but have never used them in creamy soup. With winter still upon us this soup would be very welcome.

  9. Preena @ A Teaspoon Of Turmeric8 April 2012 at 18:02

    Looks so lovely!

  10. I tried this recipe on Sunday night and it turned out very tasty. Popped in a few fresh gnocchi that I made, too (inspired by the ones made at Eat Alberta the day before) and it was yummy! My soup didn't have the nice creamy, yellow colour that yours did; I wonder if it was because I roasted my parsnips for too long and I had more caramelization on them. Oh well, it still tasted good, even if it looked a bit odd.


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