Parsnip Soup With Orange and Ginger 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Nov 13, 2013

Omit the tearful chopping work by using frozen chopped onion in this quick recipe; because this is a soup, the onion does not have to be defrosted before you toss it into the pan. See more cook-smarter TIPS below.

For a lighter-colored soup, use a 50-50 mixture of store-bought vegetable broth and water.

It can be served warm or cold.

Make Ahead: The soup can be refrigerated, minus the cream, for up to 5 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings; makes 5 1/3 cups

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion (see headnote; may substitute 1 medium onion, chopped)
  • 1 pound parsnips
  • 1 large orange
  • 1-inch piece ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 1/2 cups light-colored homemade or store-bought, no-salt-added vegetable broth (may replace half of the broth with water; see headnote)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup water, or as needed
  • 1/2 cup light cream


Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is softened but not colored.

Meanwhile, peel the parsnips, then cut them into small pieces of equal size. Grate the zest of the orange over the onion in the saucepan, then squeeze the juice of the orange into a liquid measuring cup.

Use a spoon to peel the ginger, then grate the ginger into the saucepan. Add the parsnips and the flour; stir to incorporate. Increase the heat to medium-high, stirring in the broth gradually so the flour doesn't lump together. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes.

Working in batches, transfer ladlefuls of the mixture to a blender with the center knob removed from its lid so steam can escape. Place a paper towel over the opening. Puree to form a smooth soup, then pour into a mixing bowl. Taste, and season with 1/8-teaspoon increments of salt until you can taste the individual ingredients. Repeat with the remaining mixture from the saucepan. If the soup seems too thick, add water as needed to achieve the desired consistency.

Pour the soup back into the saucepan and warm through over medium-low heat. Stir in the orange juice; taste, and add salt as needed.

At this point, the soup can be divided among individual bowls. Swirl equal amounts of cream into each portion. Or cool the soup completely (without the cream) and refrigerate until well chilled. Swirl equal amounts of the cream into each portion just before serving.

TIPS: Look for fresh, moist parsnips on the small side, with fairly smooth, root-free skin. They might need only a thorough scrubbing instead of peeling.

Have the flour ready to go in a small bowl or piled on a paper towel.

Use a spoon to peel the ginger and a wide Microplane zester or the large holes of a box grater to grate the ginger directly over the saucepan.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe by Daily Telegraph columnist Xanthe Clay's cookbook, "It’s Raining Plums" (Simon & Schuster, 2006), that appears in "Recipes From an Edwardian Country House," by Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall (Atria Books/Marble Arch Press, 2013). An earlier version of this recipe omitted directions for when the parsnips should be cooked. They are added after the ginger and before the flour.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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