This effortless recipe for parsnip and carrot soup produces a delicious warming dish with a glorious golden glow to warm you on a cold day. As nutritious as it is tasty, this recipe is perfect for batch cooking and freezing.
Parsnip and carrot soup
Homemade soup is a delight. Perfect for winter lunches, it is so quick and easy to make. It is ideal for work or packed lunches, as all you need to do is to fill a flask or heat it in the microwave for a warming, satisfying meal.
Beyond preparing the vegetables, this soup needs barely any hands on time. It can be made ahead and needs very little equipment aside from a pan and a stick blender.
This carrot and parsnip soup recipe is very adaptable. You can use the base recipe to make a creamy carrot and parsnip soup, a spicy parsnip and carrot soup or ginger and carrot soup.
I usually cook for two, but will make 6 portions of this soup at a time, making 3 easy lunches with very little work.
Why make carrot and parsnip soup
- It is seriously quick and easy – we all love a fuss free effortless soup!
- It is delicious and the glorious colour is a feast for the eyes too.
- This carrot and parsnip soup recipe is packed with vegetables, all counting towards your five a day and your extra veg!
- Carrots are full of beta-carotene, the compound that is converted to vitamin A (retinoids) in the body. These nutrients are essential to good eye and skin health, as well as supporting the immune system.
- It is frugal. Carrots, parsnips, onions and celery are probably the cheapest vegetables you can buy, and they all last for ages in your salad crisper. Using seasonal local ingredients means this recipe is not just good home economy but good for the planet too!
- Parsnip and carrot soup is ideal for batch cooking and can be frozen. One batch of this recipe makes 6 portions, so that’s lunch for two for 3 days.
- It is adaptable. Make it spicy, creamy or add ginger. Swap some of the carrots for parsnips, or the other way round. Anything goes!
Parsnip and carrot soup ingredients
- Carrots – About 500 g. This will be 4 large ones or a good handful of small carrots.
- Parsnips – About the same as the carrots
- Celery – Two sticks. If you are allergic, use a leek instead or just leave it out.
- Onion & Garlic
- Stock or Broth
- Spices – Just a dab of turmeric and smoked paprika. You don’t have to use them, but I find they make a big difference without actually making the soup taste spicy.
- Olive Oil – I always prefer unrefined extra virgin olive oil.
- Butter (optional, not shown) – Unless you prefer to avoid dairy, I recommends a knob of butter to the hot soup and stirring through before serving. It really lifts the soup.
How to Make Carrot and Parsnip Soup – Step by Step
Before you start, read my step-by-step instructions, with photos, hints and tips so you can make this perfectly every time.
Scroll down for the recipe card with quantities and more tips at the bottom of the page.
Step One – First prepare the vegetables. We are going to blend this soup so everything can be roughly chopped. No need for fine knife skills here.
- Onions – peel and roughly chop
- Garlic – peel and roughly chop
- Celery – trim, cut in half lengthwise and then into approximately 2″ / 5 cm lengths
- Carrots – top and tail, peel, cut into 2″ / 5 cm lengths. Thicker chunks might need to be halved or quartered lengthwise.
- Parsnips – top and tail, peel, cut into 2″ / 5 cm lengths. Again, thicker chunks might need to be halved or quartered lengthwise. If any of your parsnips are really big, trim and discard the woody core.
Step Two – Put the olive oil into a medium sized saucepan, and then fry the onion and celery over a medium heat for a few minutes. Keep stirring all the time.
Then add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes until the onion and celery is translucent, turning golden at the edges. All those delicious aromas will be released at this stage.
Helen’s Fuss Free Tip
Garlic takes less time to cook than onion (and other vegetables). It can easily burn, which tastes horrible. When frying off veggies, cook them for a while and then add the garlic for the last few minutes.
Step Three – Add the spices and fry for another minute until fragrant.
Step Four – Add the carrots and parsnips, pour over the stock, and then bring the pan to a simmer. You can then pop the lid on, turn the heat down and allow to simmer. Leave for about 20–25 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft.
Step Five – Once cooked, you will be able to easily insert a knife into the largest pieces of vegetable.
Step Six – Allow to cool a little and then blend with a stick blender (or in the food processor or jug blender) until smooth. Add a little extra stock if needed and then stir in a small knob of butter. Then season your parsnip and carrot soup to taste.
Helen’s Fuss Free Tip
You do not need to spend a lot of money on a stick blender. A basic one will do. If you want to get a better one, look for one with a metal, rather than plastic, shaft.
If blending hot liquid in a processor or blender, make sure that the central bung is loosely fitted so that the steam can escape. Put a tea towel over the top to catch any splashes. Do not attempt to blend soup that is just off the boil.
Serve with a swirl of cream, or blob of natural yogurt and some chopped fresh herbs.
If you prefer to avoid dairy, use a little of your favourite flavoured oil and some toasted seeds instead.
If you like bacon, you could garnish with a few crispy lardons.
- Creamy carrot and parsnip soup – whizz in a few tablespoons of cream or some extra butter to enrich the soup. Try coconut milk if you don’t want dairy.
- Carrot and parsnip soup with ginger – grate in some ginger together with the spices at step 3.
- Parsnip, carrot and apple soup – add a chopped apple at step 4.
- Carrot and parsnip soup with orange – add the juice of an orange together with the stock. You may want to add a little ginger.
- Curried parsnip and carrot soup – add a few teaspoons of your favourite curry powder at step 3.
- Carrot and parsnip soup with coconut – substitute some of the stock for the same volume of coconut milk
Storage and freezing
Fridge – Allow to cool, pack into containers, seal and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezer – Allow to cool, pack into containers, seal and freeze. Store for up to 6 months.
Reheating – Defrost in the fridge overnight, or alternatively on the countertop for a few hours. Reheat in a pan on the stove top, or in a safe container in the microwave. When using the microwave, I nearly always use a Pyrex-style jug for easy of handling.
Hints and Tips
- This soup is quick to make, but if you are in a hurry you could use half a cup of frozen soffritto mix instead of the celery and onion. If you do, you can use one small carrot less.
- Add a squeeze of lemon juice, or 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar. This will lift and brighten your soup enhancing the flavours in much the same way that a pinch of salt does.
These two root vegetables are part of the same family as parsley. They are related but different plants. In other words, don’t confuse parsnips with white carrots! Parsnips are tasty and useful winter vegetables.
Parsnips are less sweet than carrots and higher in carbohydrates. While carrots are the ideal vegetable for beta-carotene (the clue is in the name!), parsnips are valuable too. They are much higher than carrots in essential minerals and in vitamins B, C, E and K. In this recipe for carrot and parsnip soup, you get the best of both!
It’s diets that are good or bad for you, not dishes! But yes, this soup is packed full of good nutrition with plenty of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Serve with a good wholegrain bread and tuck in without guilt!
If you leave out the knob of butter at the end, it’s vegan. You could serve with a swirl of vegan yogurt or coconut milk in order to add a little richness. Try a few drops of chilli oil instead, if you prefer.
As long as your stock is gluten free, this recipe is fine for a gluten free diet.
More Delicious Soup Recipes
- Carrot and lentil soup – lightly spiced and so fast to make
- Roasted Swede Soup – Velvet smooth, warm, fragrant and delicious
- Celeriac Soup – made with roasted celeriac and an apple for a touch of sweetness
- Pappa Al Pomodoro – the Italian classic to use up stale bread!
- Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup – with coconut and spice
- Curried parsnip soup – the classic way to make parsnip soup!
- Easy Gazpacho – made with canned tomatoes
- More easy soup recipes – fancy a bowl of soup? We have you covered!
Easy parsnip and carrot soup
- 2 medium onions (about the size of a small apple)
- 2 sticks celery
- 2 cloves garlic
- 500 g parsnips
- 500 g carrots
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 litre stock/broth
- 1 knob butter
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Peel and roughly chop all the vegetables, aiming for similar sized chunks of carrots and parsnips (if these have a woody core, remove it).
- Put the olive oil in a pan and warm over a medium heat. Add the onion and celery and fry gently for a couple of minutes before adding the garlic. Cook for a minute or two longer.2 medium onions, 2 sticks celery, 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 cloves garlic
- Add the spices to the pan. Stir in and cook for a minute or two.½ tsp turmeric, ½ tsp smoked paprika
- Add the parsnips and carrots. Cover with the stock.500 g parsnips, 1 litre stock/broth, 500 g carrots
- Bring the pan to a simmer. You can then put the lid on, turn the heat down and leave to simmer for about 20–25 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft.
- Allow your soup to cool a little. Then blend the soup to a smooth consistency using a stick blender (or food processor if you prefer), adding a little extra stock if needed.
- Stir in a small knob of butter. Then season your parsnip and carrot soup to taste with salt and pepper.1 knob butter, salt and pepper
- This recipe is 6 Weight Watchers Smart Points per portion