Creamy Parsnip Soup
Recipes > Soups > Creamy Parsnip Soup

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Recipe Checklist:
  • 1 T Whole Butter
  • 1 lb. Leeks (Prepped & Sliced) (about 2 Cups)
  • 1 lb. Parsnips (Peeled Trimmed & Bias Cut into 1” pieces)
  • 2 Red Delicious Apples (Peeled, Cored & Carré)
  • 1 medium-sized, ½ lb. Russet Potato (Peeled & Carré)
  • 16 oz. of Chicken Broth
  • ½ cup of Heavy Cream
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
Tools & Equipment
  • Cutting Board
  • Chefs Knife
  • Peeler
  • Stock Pot
  • Immersion Blender
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Ladle
  • Strainer
  • Measuring Cup
  • Measuring Spoons
Estimated Time
1 Hour
Serves 4-6
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If you plan to work with homemade Chicken Stock, that will probably be the longest lead time ingredient in this recipe. It can be made up to 1 week ahead of time. If you are going to work with store-bought Chicken Stock, it will be one of the quickest lead time items. After the Chicken Stock is ready, there will still be a small bit of Vegetable preparation required to make this Creamy Parsnip Soup.

Prepare the Leeks and Slice them until you have about 2 cups. Reserve one half of a cup of the Leeks for the Garnish. Peel & Trim the Parsnips and then Bias Cut them into ¾” pieces. Core the Apples and Peel them before making them Carré (large Dice). The medium-sized Potato should also be Peeled and made Carré.


Begin the active phase of this recipe by Melting the Whole Butter in a large Stock Pot over Medium Heat. We want a white Soup finished product, so once the Butter is melted but not yet near its Smoke Point add in the Leeks and Sweat them for about 5 minutes. Manage the Cooking Process, the third of Smart Kitchen’s 4 Levers of Cooking,™ by watching the heat and stirring so that they don’t over-heat and Brown.

Once you can smell the Leeks, that is an Olfactory Clue that it is time to add in the Parsnips, Potato and the Apple. Let them have a few minutes Sweating and then add in the Chicken Broth and about 4 cups of water.

Bring everything to a Boil using High Heat. Once a Boil is reached, lower the heat to maintain a Simmer and partially cover the Stock Pot. Simmer everything together for about 20 to 25 minutes until the vegetables are tender according to the Knife Test.   

Once the vegetables are cooked enough to be tender, it is time to begin Puréeing the Soup. Either use a Burr Mixer (Immersion Blender) and Purée the hot soup in place in the pot or work in batches and Purée the Soup in a Blender until each batch is smooth. We call for using a second Stock Pot of equal size to ho hold the Puréed soup until it returns to the heat but you can make a workaround with a Mixing Bowl, another pot, etc. if that better suits your kitchen and your available equipment.

For the Immersion Blender make sure to keep the blades below the surface the whole time that the Immersion Blender is running. Shooting scalding hot soup around your kitchen is not a good plan. For the traditional Blender, Ladle enough hot soup into the Blender’s Pitcher to fill it to well below the rim. Then hold the lid in place with a kitchen towel (so you don’t burn yourself as the soup heats the lid through Conduction) and Purée the soup until it reaches a desirable consistency. Pour the hot, Puréed Soup from this batch into your holding bowl or pot and then repeat with another batch until all of the soup in our original Stock Pot has been Puréed.

At this point you could consider yourself finished, if the Soup’s consistency meets or exceeds your expectations for a thicker soup. Alternatively, if you are aiming for an ultra-smooth Creamy Parsnip Soup, you could go one step further and Strain the Puréed Soup back into the original, now empty Stockpot. It really depends on your consistency goals, time limits and fastidiousness. The extra straining is one step that can separate the chefs from the cooks.

If you plan to Strain, set up a China Cap or Sieve over the original Stock Pot. Pour or Ladle your Puréed Soup through the Sieve or China Cap into the original Stock Pot. Now bring your Strained and Puréed Soup back up to a Simmer.

As the soup reheats, make the Leek Garnish by Sautéing the Reserved ½ cup of Leeks in 1 Tablespoon of Butter for about 3 minutes until they are golden brown. Set aside.

Once the Creamy Parsnip Soup is Simmering at temperature, stir in some of the Heavy Cream. Now taste your handiwork with a tasting spoon. How are you doing? Adjust the further addition of the Heavy Cream to suit your tastes and health considerations. Less cream equals less fat and calories.

Finally, Season your almost completed Soup with Salt and Pepper to taste.

Once you have a finished product that you are happy with, warm the whole pot on Low Heat (up to 2 hours) until ready to Ladle Creamy Parsnip Soup into serving bowls for immediate service. Garnish each bowl with a bit of the Reserved Leeks for additional Flair, the 4th of Smart Kitchen’s 4 Levers of Cooking.™