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Parsnip Soup

The Washington Post, October 10, 2012


For those who've never tasted a parsnip, this subtly sweet soup would make a fine introduction. It would be an elegant addition to a fall or winter menu.

Makes about 2 quarts (6 to 8 servings)


  • • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • • 1 1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 5 cups)
  • • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • • 1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • • 1 large rib celery, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • • Kosher salt
  • • 6 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken or vegetable broth
  • • 1 bay leaf
  • • 2 cups heavy cream
  • • Freshly ground white pepper
  • • Freshly grated nutmeg


Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the parsnips, carrot, onion, celery and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the broth and bay leaf and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, adjusting the heat to keep the liquid barely bubbling around the edges of the pan, until all of the vegetables are cooked through and tender.

Discard the bay leaf. Transfer the broth and vegetables to a food processor; or transfer to a blender, removing the center knob from the lid and covering the opening with a clean dish towel to contain any splash-ups. Process or blend to a smooth puree. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into the same pot in which you cooked the vegetables. Add the cream; season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Return the saucepan to the stove over medium heat and cook until the soup begins to barely bubble around the edges.

Serve hot, garnished with a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Recipe Source:

Adapted from a recipe by Patrick O'Connell, chef-proprietor of the <a href=',796060.html'>Inn at Little Washington.</a>

310 calories, 25g fat, 16g saturated fat, 90mg cholesterol, 250mg sodium, 19g carbohydrates, 4g dietary fiber, 6g sugar, 2g protein.

Tested by Andy Sikkenga for The Washington Post.
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