Parsnip Soup with Shaved Parmesan

Soup is great for holiday entertaining because it can be prepared days or even weeks in advance then simply reheated before serving. This one, featuring sweet, nutty parsnips, has rich fall flavors and is especially easy to make.

Photo: Photo by Ronald Tsang

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PARSNIPS WITH A PUNCH: While parsnips live in the shadow of carrots (they’re root veggie relatives), their powerful nutritional benefits may give you pause when it comes to upping your intake. Not only are parsnips high in fiber, but they are also a good source of folate, manganese and vitamin C. Folate helps the body make red blood cells, manganese is required for normal brain and nerve function, and the antioxidant vitamin C combats free radicals.

Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
25 min
50 min


  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) organic unsalted butter
  • 1 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 lb Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage + small sprigs for garnish
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 oz freshly shaved Parmesan cheese


1. Up to 1 month in advance: In a large saucepan or small stockpot on medium, melt butter. Add parsnips and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in potatoes, onion and 1 tbsp chopped sage and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is very soft and mixture is beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Add broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until vegetables are very soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

3. Using a stand or immersion blender or a food processor, purée soup, in batches if necessary. Stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a container, cool, then cover and refrigerate. (NOTE: If preparing more than 3 days in advance, freeze soup; transfer to the refrigerator to thaw 2 to 3 days in advance.)

4. On the day of: Transfer soup to a large saucepan or small stockpot and bring to a gentle boil on medium, stirring occasionally. Serve garnished with remaining sage sprigs and cheese.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 3/4 cup
  • Calories 138
  • Carbohydrate Content 17.5 g
  • Cholesterol Content 15 mg
  • Fat Content 6 g
  • Fiber Content 3 g
  • Protein Content 4.5 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 3.5 g
  • Sodium Content 142 mg
  • Sugar Content 3 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 2 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 0 g

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