A pureed vegetable soup can be an impressive, easy and affordable first course for an elegant dinner, or even a light dinner on its own with salad and bread.


Recipe Summary

6 to 7 cups


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep saute pan until shimmering.

  • Add parsnips, then onion; saute, stirring very little at first, then more frequently, until vegetables start to turn golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes.

  • Reduce heat to low and add butter, sugar and garlic; continue cooking until all vegetables are a rich spotty caramel color, about 10 minutes longer.

  • Add ginger, cardamom, allspice and cayenne pepper; continue to saute until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute longer.

  • Add broth; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until parsnips are tender, about 10 minutes.

  • Using an immersion blender or traditional blender, puree until very smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute. (If using a traditional blender, vent it either by removing the lid's pop-out center or by lifting one edge of the lid. Drape the blender canister with a kitchen towel. To 'clean' the canister, pour in a little half-and-half, blend briefly, then add to the soup.)

  • Return to pan (or a soup pot); add enough half-and-half so the mixture is souplike, yet thick enough to float garnish. Taste, and add salt and pepper if needed. Heat through, ladle into bowls, garnish and serve.


*Cook 2 Tbs. each coarsely chopped hazelnuts and dried cranberries in 1 tsp. butter until golden and fragrant, 1-2 minutes.

Copyright 2004 USA WEEKEND and columnist Pam Anderson. All rights reserved.

Nutrition Facts

177 calories; protein 2.7g 6% DV; carbohydrates 20g 7% DV; fat 10.3g 16% DV; cholesterol 20.6mg 7% DV; sodium 38.6mg 2% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (34)

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40 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 28
  • 4 star values: 7
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
This is simply fantastic -- it freezes well and warms up nicely for lunch at work. I will make this again!!! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
This was an excellent recipe for someone who has never before tried parsnips. I used 1% milk instead of half and half and the soup was still lovely and thick - the perfect food for a snowy winter night. I will make this again. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I received rave reviews on this soup! Can't wait to make it again! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
It's difficult to find recipes for parsnip soup and this one was lovely! I didn't have cardamom or all spice & I used a bit of fresh ginger root in place of ground ginger but it still tasted it great. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
A wonderful soup - it has officially become one of our Sienfield 'soup nazi' soups! Because I used more parsnips I upped other ingredients but I found that I used much more chicken broth than the recipe called for - it was very thick. I used fresh ginger instead of ground and more garlic and cayenne pepper (we love garlicy spicy food). For garnish being that we didn't have hazelnuts and cranberries in the house I sauteed sultanas and walnuts in a touch of butter.. it was fabulous! Thanks for this recipe! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I omitted the allspice used a little heavy cream as well as half and half and I garnished with snipped chives. Absolutely delicious! Thanks so much! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
This recipe doesn't get a 5 because I had to thin it with water because it was so thick and the cayenne kicked the heat up too much for my kids to like it. Next time I'll make it without the cayenne; I think the ginger is heat enough. Overall it's quite a good recipe though and the garnish is a great addition. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was a fantastic soup and easily converted to vegan! I had a pound of parsnips to use up and I'm glad I chose this. Pan roasting the parsnips made them incredibly sweet. I could have skipped the sugar but I did add extra cayenne to counter that a bit. I also made this a SUPER LIGHT version by using unsweetened almond milk no butter and homemade vegi broth. The cranberries are A MUST as they add the bitter depth this soup lacks while the toasted hazelnuts add fantastic texture and depth. Like other reviewers I chose to thin this out quite a bit but the bf liked it thick ( I guess it depends on personal preference so I won't knock off a star for that!) Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Absolutely wonderful! I did have fresh ginger so I think that gave it the extra zing. Read More