Meatless Monday: Creamy Parsnip Soup

By: Jody Paglia Tanzman, RD,LDN,CLC

Now that we are headlong into the winter months and the outside temperature has taken a nosedive, there is nothing that I would rather do than curl up on the couch with a big bowl of something warm and hearty. I am craving rich and sinful dishes, and when times like these approach me, I turn to my Creamy Parsnip Soup. Naturally this soup does not actually contain cream. This soup gets its creaminess from potato and its earthy sweetness comes from parsnips.
Ah, parsnips. Perhaps one of the most undervalued and underused vegetables, in my opinion. Packed with vitamin C, folate and fiber, this white root vegetable is cousin to the carrot yet has triple the amount of natural sugar of its orange colored relation. This makes them a fantastic addition in juices (try replacing your apples and pears with parsnips – it will help keep you within the 80/20 rule and I promise, it will give you just as much sweetness as the fruit you are replacing). Parsnips can also be used in the same fashion as other root veggies – lovely in mashes and gratins, and of course, soups.

Nutrition info is based on 6 servings.


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  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 3/4 pounds parsnips, peeled and chopped into 2” chunks
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped into 2” chunks
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) vegetable stock
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 roasted garlic cloves (see recipe below)
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground white pepper to taste
  • paprika for dusting
  • maple syrup and chopped roasted chestnuts, optional


  1. Heat the oil in a stockpot on medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, celery and salt and sauté until the vegetables are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the parsnips, potato, vegetable stock and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and let the soup simmer until the vegetables are very soft, about 45 minutes.
  4. Remove the bay leaves and let the soup cool slightly. Pour the soup into a blender. Add the roasted garlic cloves and puree (be careful – the soup is hot!).
  5. Season with the kosher salt and fresh ground white pepper to taste.
  6. To serve, portion the soup into bowls and dust with the paprika. For an elegant and seasonal garnish, drizzle with warm maple syrup and chopped roasted chestnuts.

Roasted Garlic
1 head garlic
Olive oil for drizzling

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F or 200 C.
  2. Slice the top off of the head of garlic, exposing the cloves. Place cut side up on a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle the exposed cloves with a bit of olive oil, then wrap the foil over the garlic head and seal, making a package. Place in the oven and roast for 25 minutes.
  3. Unwrap the foil and let the garlic cool. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the cloves out. Set aside 6 cloves for the soup and refrigerate the rest for another use.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Servings: 6

  • Nutrition per serving:
  • Calories210
  • Fat5g
  • Saturated Fat1g
  • Cholesterol0g
  • Sodium170g
  • Carbohydrates41g
  • Fiber9g
  • Sugars15g
  • Protein 3g

Yields and nutritional information are estimated and will vary depending on produce size and equipment used.

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Jody Paglia Tanzman, RD,LDN,CLC

Jody is a Registered Dietitian and trained professional chef. She is a graduate of Boston University and received her post-baccalaureate degree in dietetics at Hunter College. She also attended the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan. Jody has cooked for numerous well-known restaurants and catering companies throughout NYC, including Gramercy Tavern and the green, sustainable catering company, The Cleaver Co. Jody is a frequent recipe contributor to several online blogs. Her articles on gluten and celiac disease have been referenced on numerous websites, and she is currently at work on a gluten-free cookbook. Jody also works as a Culinary Advisor for Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, creating new, high quality menu items that meet strict parameters for nutrition and wellness. Her most favorite job, however, is being a mom to two boys.

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