I had the pleasure of a great meal at Frank’s Kitchen in Toronto recently. It was a wonderful meal that included a surprise course – the Chef sent an amuse (a small appetizer) to the table at the start of the meal. I love surprises and was excited to hear that we were being serve Parsnip soup! It inspired this recipe for parsnip potato soup!
I know that parsnips can be divisive – people seem to either love or hate them. Like beets, many people describe parsnips as earthy, metallic, or abrasive. I don’t find them to be any of those things but can understand why someone might feel that way which is why I was surprised to find our soup to be anything but aggressive. It was surprisingly subtle, slightly nutty, creamy and all kinds of wonderful.
The soup was so good that I found myself in the kitchen 2 days later trying to tackle my own version of parsnip soup. I wasn’t trying to emulate their dish but wanted to emulate their softening of the parsnips and opted to blend them with potatoes to do that. This also made the soup taste creamier than it actually is.
The recipe calls for steaming the parsnips. I did this after reading that steaming would help break their fibers down but can’t find the reference a week later! If you don’t have a steamer you could easily boil them in the stock until soft.
This is a wonderfully warming soup that’s even better a day or two later.
- 1.5 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into french fry-sized sticks
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil (peanut is lovely)
- 1 pound potatoes (yukon gold are perfect for this), chopped into ½ inch cubes
- 1 medium onion, chopped medium
- 1 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme plus more for garnish
- Salt to taste
- 1 quart veg or stock
- ⅓ cup cream (optional)
- Steam the parsnips until soft, about 10 minutes.
- Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat before adding oil. Heat oil until it's nearly smoking.
- Toss potatoes, onion, garlic, tumeric, sprigs of thyme and salt into frying pan. Cook until onions soften, about 4-5 minutes.
- Set cream aside, toss all remaining ingredients in a soup pot. Simmer until potatoes are cooked throughout.
- Remove thyme, place all remaining ingredients in a blender (or use an immersion blender) and puree smooth.
- Add cream before serving (either to the pot or divide amongst bowls while serving)