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October 25, 2010

Recipe for vegetarian pear and parsnip soup

Pear and parsnip soup

I've been making this soup on and off for years, yet every time I make it, I'm surprised at how well the parsnips and pears work together to become something that looks like porridge but tastes like heaven. You can use the same method to make carrot soup, too. Roast the vegetables to bring out the natural sweetness; then, cook them in water or stock with a bit of seasoning and a pear or apple. When all is soft, puree, and brighten the seasoning with fresh herbs. Consider this soup for a first course on your Thanksgiving table. It's earthy, but refined.

Vegetarian pear and parsnip soup

Serves 6. 


2 lbs parsnips, ends trimmed, peeled
1 medium red or sweet onion, peeled and quartered
2 cloves garlic, whole but not peeled
Sea salt and fresh black pepper
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large pear (or 2 medium), any variety, peeled and cubed
2 cups water (or chicken stock)
1-2 Tbsp minced fresh thyme (or parsley, marjoram, chives, or a mixture), to taste
1/4 cup heavy cream
Additional salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 375°F. Place parsnips, onion and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt, pepper and olive oil, and toss to coat. Roast for 40 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice, until vegetables are lightly browned. Remove pan from oven, and set aside for 10 minutes. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skin, directly into a Dutch oven or heavy soup pot. Cut the parsnips into 1-inch chunks and add to the soup pot with onion, pear, and water or stock, plus water to almost cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook, uncovered, until the pear is tender (15 minutes). Add herbs; cook 5 minutes more. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup in the pot (or purée in batches in a blender). Add cream (optional). Season with sea salt and lots of freshly-ground black pepper, to taste. Serve hot, garnished with snips of fresh herbs.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: Kalynskitchen | October 25, 2010 at 07:30 PM

Okay, I am considering it although I hate parsnips (but love pears!) Never would have thought of combining these two in a soup, and if you've made it many times it must be good.

Posted by: Karina | October 25, 2010 at 09:32 PM

So snowy white and lovely. I can't wait to try this pairing of parsnips and pear. Brilliant.

Posted by: Rupert | October 26, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Beautiful and yummy!

Posted by: beverly thomas | October 27, 2010 at 10:08 AM

This is a very nice soup, I loved it when a friend made it last week-surprisingly light and tasty.

Posted by: sarah | October 31, 2010 at 12:58 PM

I love your recipes. I find inspiration from them. This soup is a prime example a chicken stock vegetarian recipe. It is easy enough to use veggie stock in place of the chicken stock.

Posted by: Katie | March 7, 2011 at 03:34 PM

I have tried several of your soups and they have all been wonderful!

I didn't have any garlic so I sprinkled some ginger on the veggies before roasting them and it gave it a sweet and spicy flavour. I also used veggie stock.

Posted by: Ricky | July 7, 2012 at 01:20 AM

Im going to give it a go....lovely. Thought I might try two batches and add blue cheese to one also....

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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