Parsnip and apple soup is a lovely variation on a traditional theme. Lighter and brighter than many parsnip soup recipes, the sweetness is balanced by a little tart fruitiness that gives it a real lift.
Easy parsnip and apple soup
Parsnips are great for making soup. Widely available from autumn through spring, they are full of flavour and cook down beautifully. They are generally inexpensive and they are grown so widely that the food miles can be kept to a minimum.
This parsnip and apple soup recipe is light, bright and delicious. Apple works really well in soup (I use it my celeriac soup). It brings a freshness and a hint of tartness to balance the sweet earthiness of parsnips. With a hint of spice, it makes a lovely rounded dish that’s perfect for lunch.
Why make apple parsnip soup
- This parsnip and apple soup recipe is very easy and largely hands off!
- It is delicious – this soup is lightly spiced, balancing the sweetness of the apple and parsnip.
- It is frugal, as parsnips and apples are cheap, plentiful and often local.
- The recipe uses just a handful of everyday ingredients, available in all supermarkets.
- The recipe is perfect for bulk cooking and for freezing.
Parsnip apple soup ingredients
- Parsnips – One bag of regular parsnips. There is no need for expensive baby parsnips, but do avoid the extra large ones. I find these can have very woody cores. If you are feeling lazy, you can buy bags of frozen prepared parsnips.
- Apples – Two regular eating apples or one bigger cooking apple. It really doesn’t matter which.
- Onion & Garlic – Any onion, white, red or even shallots are fine.
- Spices – I have used a mix of earthy cumin to offset the sweetness of the apple and parsnip, and some garam masala for warmth and complexity.
- Stock / Broth – Use your favourite. I like those jelly-like stock pots.
- Olive Oil / Butter – using a both olive oil and butter to fry the onion and spices in adds another layer of flavour. Adjust according to your dietary needs – using all olive oil, all butter or even ghee will work well.
How to make parsnip and apple 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:
- Onions – Peel and roughly chop
- Garlic – Peel and chop
- Parsnips – Peel, cut in half, or quarters
- Apples – Roughly chop, discarding the core. No need to peel.
Step Two – Put the butter and olive oil in a medium sized saucepan and melt over a medium heat. Add the onion and sautee for a few minutes until fragrant and translucent.
Add the garlic, parsnip and spices, stir and gently fry for a bit longer. Take care not to burn the garlic, as this will result in a bitter soup. When it is cooked through and translucent, that’s enough!
Step Three – Add the apple and stock. You want everything to be just covered.
Helen’s Fuss Free Tip
I make up the stock double strength and then top up with water.
Bring to a gentle simmer, cover the pan and let it cook for 25–30 minutes.
Step Four – Once cooked both the apples and parsnips will be soft. Give it bit longer if needed.
Step Five – Now remove from the heat and blend the soup until it is smooth and velvety. You may need to add some more liquid at this stage.
I usually use a stick blender, as they are inexpensive, effective and easy to clean. They also take up very little space in the kitchen.
If you prefer, you can also blend in a food processor or blender. If using either of these, either allow the soup to cool first, or remove the central bung/stopper. Then hold a folded tea towel loosely over the lid. This will allow the steam to escape.
Finally, Check the seasoning and serve.
Serve with homemade bread and butter, for a delicious lunch.
To level this dish up for a dinner party, serve with a swirl of cream and topped with homemade parsnip crisps.
I like to have fun with garnish when I serve soup. Here, I added a drizzle of a favourite oil, an extra pinch of spice and some fresh parsley.
You could also add toasted seeds, a swirl of cream, a squeeze of lemon juice or any favourite herbs.
- Vary the spice – I like a curry spice mix or a spice blend with a little heat, as I feel it works well with the sweetness of the parsnip. You do not need to stick to an Indian blend – an earthy North African spice mix could work too.
- Swap in more vegetables – If you are short of parsnips, try adding other root veg to the mix or use frozen or homemade soffritto in place of the onions.
- Make it richer – Swirl in a little cream if you like a rich and creamy soup.
- Make it vegan – Conversely, if you want to leave the butter out, you can. I like the flavour that it adds, but if you don’t want it, stick to using olive oil. Consider drizzling a little nut oil on the soup at the end instead.
Storage and freezing
Fridge – Allow to cool, and then pack into containers, seal and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezer – Allow to cool, pack into containers, seal and then freeze. Frozen soup will keep for up to 6 months.
Hints and tips
- If you don’t have time to make parsnip crisps, you can garnish the soup with a packet of ready made parsnip or apple crisps.
- The longer you blend the soup, the better the final texture will be. For a really silky smooth soup, you can also put it through a sieve.
- To clean stick blenders quickly, rinse first. Then put the business end into a bowl of warm soapy water and give it a quick spin. Rinse food processors or blenders, then fill about a quarter full with warm water and few drops of washing up liquid. Whizz, rinse and repeat.
Yes, just cool it, pack it and freeze it. It will keep will for six months.
Yes. Just use a little extra oil instead of the butter. Butter does bring flavour to the dish, so if you leave it out, perhaps top your soup with a drizzle of hazelnut oil or similar before serving.
If you don’t have enough parsnips then you could easily add other root vegetables such as swede and carrots. These sweet roots will also work well with the spicing.
There are about 200 calories per bowl of this delicious soup.
More Soup Recipes
- Carrot and parsnip soup – golden soup for cooler days, perfect for a big batch and filling the freezer!
- Tomato red pepper soup – full of flavour and rich in antioxidants
- Carrot and lentil soup – warming, frugal and filling!
- Roast swede soup – velvet smooth and so delicious!
- Roasted squash soup – rich, smooth with a hint of spice.
- More easy soup recipes – if you love soup, explore all of my super soup recipes!
- Homemade bread is the perfect thing to serve with soup – try one of my bread recipes!
Parsnip & Apple Soup
- 1 large onion (about 150g)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 650 g parsnips
- 2 apples
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 25 g butter
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 750 ml vegetable stock (3 cups)
Optional To Serve
- squeeze lemon juice
- 2 tbsp double cream
- Peel and roughly chop the vegetables. Chop the apples and discard the cores (you don't need to peel them).1 large onion, 2 cloves garlic, 650 g parsnips, 2 apples
- Put the butter, oil and onion in a medium sized saucepan over a medium heat. Cook for a few minutes until the onion is translucent. Then add the garlic, parsnips and spices and cook a little longer, taking care not to burn the garlic.2 tbsp olive oil, 25 g butter, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp garam masala
- Add the apple and stock.750 ml vegetable stock
- Cook gently until the apple and parsnip are soft and tender.
- Now remove the pan from the heat and blend the soup until it is smooth and velvety. I usually use a stick blender for this but a food processor/blender is fine too.
- Check the seasoning and garnish as you prefer before serving.squeeze lemon juice, 2 tbsp double cream
- This recipe is 2 Weight Watchers Smart Points per portion