Spicy Parsnip Soup


Vegetable soup. Warm soup. Spicy soup. Soup for dinner served with some homemade bread. A parsnip soup that’s so earthy, naturally sweet and comforting. It begs the question why it hasn’t shown up in my kitchen until now. What else have we been missing? It’s question like this that keeps me searching for the simple, delicious, and sometimes overlooked dishes or ingredients that tickle our palate, if not our imagination.

Kudos to Jamie Oliver, the writer of this recipe. Not only for his leadership in the food revolution in healthy eating, but for his deft hand in elevating a common root vegetable soup into something so divine and tantalizing. Jamie Oliver said: “I’ve given the humble parsnip soup a new lease of life with aromatic Asian flavours and added heat.” He did exactly that. My taste buds won’t easily forget the experience.

The recipe calls for six parsnips but does not specify the size or weight. I used three big ones or at least three pounds of parsnip. I don’t think you could ever go wrong putting in extra parsnip in the soup.

What makes this soup a standout is the use of spices, garam masala, in particular. I have a small bottle of this spice laying around for the longest time. Unused and underappreciated. It won’t be any longer going forward. The sweet pungency of the mix of cardamom, cinnamon and clove in garam masala is so seductive. I can’t resist sticking my nose to the bottle, smelling and inhaling its rich warm aroma.

I don’t have fresh red pepper. Red pepper was used as the focal point garnishing the parsnip soup posted on Jamie Oliver’s website. I substituted with red chili flakes. The fresh pepper would have spiced up the soup beyond measure. I would use the fresh kind next time around. Maybe as soon as next week.

Served with crusty sprouted whole-wheat bread



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  • Reply
    Lydia Filgueras
    January 14, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    That sounds like an incredible soup. I wanted to use parsnips for a salad and after a long search ended up using carrots. I would have loved to use the parsnips in my recipe.

  • Reply
    January 17, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    I love using parsnips when I make chicken soup, but I've never made a parsnip soup. This soup looks awesome and I love the spices used.

  • Reply
    Deb in Hawaii
    January 17, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Yum! I am not sure how I have missed this one–I adore creamy vegetable soups and garam masala. Definitely tagging it to make! 😉

  • Reply
    Joyce Rachel Lee-Bates
    January 18, 2016 at 5:14 am

    I haven't made a parsnip soup before. I sure will try making this. Thanks!

  • Reply
    kitchen flavours
    January 19, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    That is a delicious looking bowl of soup. Parsnip is not easily available over here and quite costly too. I would love to try cooking with parsnip!

  • Reply
    January 25, 2016 at 1:17 am

    " My taste buds won't easily forget the experience" – I love the way you described tasting this soup. It evokes a longing to try it for sure:)

    The British make truly celebrate the parsnip, and yet I was an adult before I ever even knew they existed! It's a true shame! I love a parsnip soup and also a parsnip mash. Very pretty soup!

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