Creamy Parsnip Soup, with Ginger & Cardamom

Wednesday 14 November 2018

This delicious soup I am sharing with you today is one I frequently made for dinner parties when I cooked at the Manor.  It is elegant enough for entertaining, making it perfect for the upcoming holidays,  but is also  uses simple ingredients and is very easy to make. Another plus! 

If you are not familiar with Parsnips, they are a root vegetable which is closely related to carrots and parsley. Its long, tuberous root has cream-coloured skin and flesh. Unlike other root vegetables, it is  left in the ground to mature in the autumn, as it becomes sweeter in flavor after winter frosts.

I quite simply adore them, and you will often find them in my soups and stews as they lend a wonderful flavour to these types of things . . .  and on their own they make a beautiful soup.

At Christmas many people roast partially cooked parsnips in the oven with a honey butter glaze as their flavour makes them a beautiful accompaniment to turkey and game.  When I was a girl my mother used to par-boil them and then fry them in butter.  Such a treat! 

This delicious soup makes great use of some of the warm baking spices  . . .  ginger, and cardamom . . .  you will also find garlic, which you might not think would work, but it does  . . .  beautifully!  There is a bit of cayenne for heat, and of course along with the parsnips, there is onion. 

A soup without any onion in it, is sadly lacking in something important in my opinion!  Onions and garlic lend such wonderful savoury flavours to things.  Without them, this soup might be a bit too sweet, I think.

The toasted hazelnut and dried cranberry topping on top gives this simple soup a bit of class.

It is a beautiful garnish with plenty of texture and colour, which helps to set off an otherwise very ordinary looking soup.

The hazelnuts adding a bit of crunch and the cranberry some jewel like sweetness . . .

The creaminess of the soup . . .  that crunch of the nuts, the sweetness of the cranberries . . .  it just all works in harmony to give you a delightful first course for any occasion!

Yield: 4

Creamy Parsnip Soup, with Ginger & Cardamom

prep time: 10 minscook time: 35 minstotal time: 45 mins
Creamy soup with a wonderful hint of sweet spices, ginger and cardamom, along with a toasted hazelnut and cranberry topping.


2 TBS olive oil
1 1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 TBS butter
large pinch of sugar
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cardamom (remove the seeds from green cardamom pods, and
grind them to a powder in your mortar and pestle)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 pints chicken broth
1 1/4 pints single cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Garnish:
1 TBS coarsely chopped skinned hazelnuts
1 TBS dried cranberries
1 tsp butter


Heat the oil in a large deep saucepan over medium high heat. 
Once it shimmers, add the parsnips, and onions.  Saute,stirring very
little at first, and then more frequently towards the end, until the
parsnips start to turn golden brown. This should take 7 to 8 minutes. 
Reduce the heat to low and add butter, sugar, and garlic.  Continue to
cook, stirring occasionally until all the vegetables are a rich caramel
colour, some 10 minutes longer.

Add the spices and cook, until
fragrant, then add the broth.  Bring to a simmer over medium high heat.
 Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables
are tender.  This should take about 10 minutes.

Using a stick
blender, puree the soup until smooth.  Stir in the cream and heat until
warm.  Season to taste with some salt and pepper.

Heat the tsp of
 butter for the garnish in a small saucepan.  Add the hazelnuts and
dried cranberries.  Cook until golden and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

ladle the hot soup into heated bowls and top each serving with a portion of the hazelnut/cranberry saute.  Delicious!
Created using The Recipes Generator

You need not wait for a special occasion to make this delicious soup.  It tastes good any time. I often make it just for a light supper with some crusty bread.  I don't always do the garnish in that case.  (I know, lazy me.)  This is one of the recipes that you will find in my new book coming out in the New Year, entitled "A Year In The English Kitchen".  Bon Appetit! 


  1. I love parsnips too, but you don't see them here very often. I'm saving this one -- just in case!

    1. Oh, I do so hope you get the chance to make it Jeanie! I think you will love it! xo


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