Spiced parsnip soup recipe to enjoy ‘sweetness’ of in-season veg

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Parsnips can be harvested between August and March in the UK, with baby roots appearing in late summer and bigger, sweeter crops growing in abundance after the first winter frost. While most healthy, fresh produce is enjoyed all year round from supermarket shelves, eating seasonally and locally is often much cheaper and beneficial than purchasing imported goods. Blending sweet parsnips into a soup is one of the best ways to enjoy them on a cold day, and they taste even better with a mix of herbs and spices. Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, plant-based chef and nutritionist Lisa Marley (@lisamarleychef on Instagram) shared her “inexpensive” recipe using a mixture of vitamin-rich vegetables.

Lisa said: “Parsnips are affordable, versatile and have a beautiful sweetness that works in sweet and savoury dishes. They are perfectly good boiled and mashed, sliced and roasted and particularly good when caramelised – and you can even have them steamed or raw.

“They contain important nutrients and are an excellent source of fibre, along with vitamin K, folate and vitamin C. Eating soup is a fantastic, inexpensive way to keep hydrated, satisfied and full while giving your immune system a boost as well.”

Getting the right amount of nutrients in the winter is really important to stay healthy and fight off any bugs, and this soup is just one way to do it. It’s easy to prepare and you can even cook it in a slow cooker, or batch cook and freeze the leftovers.

While Lisa recommended using a hand blender or food processor for the thick, creamy consistency, she noted that you can use a potato masher to create a “lovely thick and chunky soup”.

This no-waste recipe means you can also use up the peelings in your dish too if you’re confident at roasting them, so you can enjoy an extra crispy topping with added crunch when tucking into the warming soup.

Of course, to make the hearty dish you will need a few more ingredients than just parsnip, though they are all low-cost and easy to get hold of.


For the soup:

  • 500g parsnips, peeled
  • 400g butter beans, rinsed and drained
  • Three teaspoons of curry powder
  • One vegetable stock cube

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To garnish:

  • Parsnip crisps or parsnip peelings roasted in the oven
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • A sprinkle of smoked paprika (optional)

To make the soup, start by slicing your parsnips. Lisa noted that if your parsnips have already been scrubbed, you probably don’t need to peel them.

She said that if you do then you can use the peel to make your own vegetable stock, or crisps or keep it for composting.

Set aside 100g (roughly one medium parsnip, thinly sliced) to bake into crisps which can be done on a non-stick baking tray for 10 minutes.

Keep the oven at 180C for this time, or longer until they are golden and crispy. The same can be done for the peelings though they will cook a lot quicker.

Simply load them onto a separate tray with some oil and salt and leave them to cook in the oven, checking on them regularly to avoid burning.

In the meantime, you can chop the remaining vegetables into small chunks ready to be cooked.

Bring one and a half pints of lightly salted water to a boil in a large pan and add the parsnips. Cook until they are soft enough to pierce with a fork.

Once soft, turn off the heat and add in the butter beans and vegetable stock cube. Using a stick blender, combine into a thick soup being careful not to spill the liquid out of the pan.

Lisa noted that you can add extra water if you prefer a thinner soup though it should be fine to use the existing liquid for a thick, creamy consistency.

She said: “Once the soup is cooked and cooled, store it in a sealed container. If freezing, you can either portion it up or freeze it in one tub, though you should never freeze soup in a glass jar in case it cracks. Serve the parsnip soup hot with parsnip crisps, toasted pumpkin seeds and a sprinkle of smoked paprika on top.”

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