Irish Parsnip Soup is creamy and comforting with a hint of curry spice and a light sweetness from apples. If you’re new to cooking with parsnips, this is a great dish to use as introduction.
Irish Parsnip Soup
Parsnips are quite popular in Ireland. Traditionally they were a food that sustained people through the cold winters when fresh vegetables were scarce.
They are a staple root vegetable, not like the way they might turn up once a year in a pot roast here in the States.
If you live in the Northern US and try to eat seasonally, you’ve probably realized the challenge for the Irish.
Enter the totally not boring and under-rated parsnip!
What Are Parsnips?
A parsnip is a root vegetable that kind of looks like a white carrot, with a very wide top.
Not surprisingly, parsnips are related to carrots, but you may be surprised to learn that they are also related to parsley!
How Do Parsnips Taste?
While parsnips kind of look like a carrot, they definitely smell different. But, don’t let the strong smell turn you away from cooking with parsnips.
When cooked, parsnips have a sweeter flavor than carrots. They are kind of like a cross between a carrot and a potato.
Are Parsnips Healthy?
Yes! They are! They have many health benefits.
- High in potassium
- A good source of fiber
- High in folate
- A good source of vitamins C and E
How Do You Cook Parsnips?
There are a number of ways to cook parsnips depending on your personal preference.
For this Irish parsnip soup recipe, we’re using a combination of sauteeing and boiling.
The sauteeing gives the parsnips a bit of the same caramelized flavor that you would get from roasting, but boiling ensures that they don’t get too dark as we are cooking them.
This combination of techniques gives great flavor and great color to the soup!
How To Choose Parsnips?
If you know what to look for, it’s easy to choose a good parsnip out of a bunch.
- Choose small or medium sized parsnips, large ones tend to be more fibrous.
- Even color is an indication of a good harvest, brown patches indicate poor quality
- Choose heavier parsnips. If they are lighter in weight, they are probably starting to dry out.
Grocers who don’t go through a lot of parsnips typically stock parsnips that have a wax coating on them to help them last longer. If you can find parsnips without the wax coating, then you know you’re getting fresher parsnips.
However, if all you can find is the wax-coated ones, those will still be good too. Just be sure to peel all the wax off before using them!
Our Irish Parsnip Apple Soup Recipe
The seasonings are what really make this Irish parsnip apple soup stand out from other parsnip and apple soups.
Curry, cumin, and coriander create a wonderful play of robust flavors and a hint of spice. We love the way these spices complement the slightly sweet parsnips.
That sweetness is brought to the forefront in this soup by the addition of apples.
As a final touch, the cream added at the end of the cooking process rounds out the flavors and adds a rich and luscious feeling to the soup.
If you’ve never cooked with parsnips, this soup is a wonderful introduction!
How To Serve Irish Parsnip Soup
This is definitely a lighter soup, but that doesn’t mean its serving options are limited.
- In small portions it makes for a tasty appetizer
- With a side of crusty bread it’s a perfect light lunch
- It’s great as a side dish to go along with pork chops or ham
No matter how you serve it, this Irish parsnip soup is a tasty way to dive into parsnips. It also makes a unique way to add some green to your St. Patrick’s Day menu!
Irish Parsnip Soup
Yield: 6 cups of soup
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 lb parsnips, peeled and chopped
- 1 lb apples, peeled and chopped
- 1 onions, chopped
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 4 c chicken or vegetable stock (we prefer low sodium)
- ½ c heavy cream, room temperature
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- In a medium soup pot, melt the butter.
- Add the parsnips, apples, and onions. Sauté over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables have softened slightly.
- Add the curry powder, cumin and coriander. Mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the spices are fragrant.
- Add the stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the parsnips are very soft.
- Remove the soup from the heat and puree it with an immersion blender, or by transferring the mixture to the bowl of your stand blender.
- Add the cream to the pureed soup. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper, as needed.
- Return the soup to a low heat and warm the soup gently, without boiling, until heated through.
If this recipe has you wanting to try your hand at more Irish food, read on!
Today, we’re exploring Ireland and Irish recipes along with bloggers from around the world as a part of the #EatTheWorld challenge hosted by CulturEatz.
Check out some of these tasty Irish (and Irish-inspired) recipes to complete your St. Patrick’s Day meal!
- Irish Yellowman Candy from CultureEatz
- Cheesy Potato Soup with Irish Ale from Amy’s Cooking Adventures
- Irish Chocolate Stout Cake from Sugar Loves Spices
- Instant Pot Irish Stew with White Cheddar Crust from A Day In The Life On The Farm
- Shamrock Salad-Topped Irish Boxty from Culinary Adventures With Camilla
- Irish Baked Eggs with Spinach from Tara’s Multicultural Table
- Irish Potato Cakes from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
If you liked this recipe, here are some similar dishes you may enjoy!
Sarah is one of Curious Cuisiniere’s founding duo. Her love for cultural cuisines was instilled early by her French Canadian Grandmother. Her experience in the kitchen and in recipe development comes from years working in professional kitchens. She has traveled extensively and enjoys bringing the flavors of her travels back to create easy-to-make recipes.