Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Parsnip, Apple and Thyme Soup

When I was youngster, creamed corn was about the only vegetable I'd ever eat.  I never grew tired of it  and when entreated to try something new, I would practically convulse at the thought. And heaven knows I'd never eat parsnips or even try them. Never. Parsnips were something that my grandmother ate (she also ate tripe and pickled pig's feet, so, in my mind, she was not exactly a reliable taste tester).

Time passed, I've made a conscious effort to "grow up" my taste buds and  I have learned to appreciate the cruciferous vegetables, greens, gourds, root vegetables, but parsnips escaped me until much later.  And now?  Well, I've acquired a taste for them, and quite frankly they'll never be a favorite, but they are so good for you that I keep trying them.  If you've never tried them, they look a lot like carrots in shape, though they're creamy white.  To me they taste somewhere between a carrot and a turnip--they have a natural sweetness like a carrot but have a more assertive flavor akin to a turnip.  

One of my favorite blogs is The English Kitchen.  Marie is a transplanted Canadian now residing in England, and she is discovering English cooking and sharing her delicious results and discoveries.  Her blog is beautifully photographed and written; everything she prepares looks delicious.  And it was there that I found this recipe for parsnip, apple and thyme soup.  I hope you take some time to peruse her blog and maybe even try this soup. It reminds me of the soups I've tried from Campbell's Select soups.

(from The English Kitchen)

1 small onion, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon medium curry powder
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
3 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 large cooking apple, peeled and chopped (I used 3 small Granny Smiths)
5 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup cream
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
extra virgin olive, croutons and some fresh thyme leaves as garnish

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and curry powder. Cook and stir over medium low heat until the onion softens.

Stir in the parsnips, apple and thyme sprig. Cook and stir to coat in the oil and spice. (You may need to add a bit more oil). Add the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the apple and parsnip is quite soft.

Puree until smooth with a stick blender or in a blender in small batches, taking care to cover the blender so you don't get burned. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return to the pot and stir in the cream and heat through.

Serve hot, ladled into heated bowls. Top each serving with a drizzle of olive oil, some croutons and some thyme leaves.


  1. Perfect soup for this fall weather..slurp.......

  2. Wow my taste bud feels ticklish on seeing the lovely soup ,wise combo to indulge in .Apt for this cold weather .

  3. Yum, your soup looks so creamy and satisfying Katy.Your photo is gorgeous as well!
    I was a strange child, I guess, as I loved parsnips. My mother parboiled them, sliced them in half and then finished cooking them in butter in her frying pan.
    Isn't it wonderful though, that as we grow up, we learn to appreciate some of the foods we used to shun? :)

  4. I love the fact that your grandmother was not a "reliable taster!" She was a paver of new roads for you! I will be trying this soup because it does the song and dance celebrating autumn.

  5. I don't think I really have any opinion about parsnips either way. I don't crave them like I do sweet potatoes but I like them just fine. this soup does look awesome though!

  6. Love this type of healthy soup! Easy and delicious!

  7. Oh my goodness Katy-this looks and sounds wonderful.......I love apples and parsnips are right up there with one of my favorite vegetables. I can't wait to try this.....thanks so much.... :)

  8. Katy I was the same way! :) Okay, I still kinda am. lol

  9. This is a beautiful autumn English soup. I love he flavor combination of parsnips and apples. Awesome.

  10. Katy -- Intriguing! I'm going to look for parsnips at the farmers' market this weekend. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Kathy, the apple soup sounds fantastic! I don't think I have ever used apples in the soup.

  12. Oh my Katy, this sounds like a great autumn soup..please send me some, okay? haha


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