Creamy Parsnip Soup

Parsnip soup

The Spruce / Molly Watson

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
250 Calories
11g Fat
34g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 250
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Cholesterol 32mg 11%
Sodium 1024mg 45%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 23mg 114%
Calcium 182mg 14%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 752mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Parsnips may look like overgrown mutated white carrots, but they have a fabulously sweet and nutty flavor that's all their own. In this recipe, parsnips are used to make a simple but satisfying creamy soup that's perfect for a chilly night. When combined with sautéed leeks and garlic, pureed until smooth, and then finished with some milk and fresh herbs, this simple root vegetable turns into a delicious soup.

Serve it as a humble supper all on its own with crusty bread or crackers, or add a fresh tossed green salad or cheese-garnished salad of hearty winter greens for more of a dinner. This simple soup is also lovely as an elegant first course to a more substantial meal.


  • 1 medium leek, or onion

  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 2 pounds parsnips, peeled and chopped

  • 4 cups chicken broth, or vegetable broth

  • 2 cups low-fat or whole milk

  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper, or white pepper, or to taste

  • Chopped fresh herbs, for garnish (such as chervil, parsley, or chives)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Chop and clean the leek. (Be sure to rinse the pieces perfectly clean so your soup won't be gritty.) Or peel and chop the onion.

  3. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the chopped leek or onion and the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leek or onion is a bit creamy looking, about 10 minutes. Adjust the heat, if needed, so they cook but don't start to brown.

  4. Add the garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.

  5. Add the parsnips and the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook until the parsnips are very tender to the bite, about 20 minutes.

  6. Puree the soup until very smooth. The easiest way to do this is to use a handheld immersion blender. Alternatively, work in batches and transfer the soup to a blender or food processor (cover the blender with a kitchen towel to avoid potential burns) and whirl each batch until utterly smooth. For a truly ultrasmooth soup, strain through a fine-mesh sieve, if you like. Return the soup to the pot.

  7. Add the milk and gently heat, stirring occasionally, until nice and hot all the way through. (Be careful not to let the soup come to a boil since that will curdle the milk.) Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  8. Serve hot, garnished with fresh chopped herbs. Enjoy.

Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

Steam expands quickly in a blender and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.