Local Heart, Global Soul

February 3, 2011

Spicy Parsnip and Carrot Soup… Easy Step-by-Step WONDERFUL!

Filed under: FOOD — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In a follow-up to yesterday’s post,  where I made Kung Pao Chicken for our lunch meeting guests, I also had a soup that preceded the main course.
This soup has become a staple winter favourite in our house for the last three years, and is a favourite not least because it has been part of my adventures with parsnip  https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/new-227/.

This is also THE soup that prompted “I-think-I-have-always-hated-soup”  Himself to rethink his views.

As a member of the ex-Recipezaar website (now known as Food.Com) I found this recipe posted by member “Patchwork-Dragon”    http://www.food.com/recipe/spicy-parsnip-and-carrot-soup-203270 and it has been a feature at family buffet meals, entertaining  with friends as well as being a winter treat on our dinner table.

If you make this recipe, I’m sure she would be delighted if you could please be so kind as to leave her a review.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Over the years I have to confess to making a few personal changes: here are my notes:

– I have substituted red (or green) curry paste for the curry powder and we all prefer the deeper, more subtle complex flavours that it brings to the recipe.Add it carefully, starting with a small teaspoon and you will find a wonderful tangy (but not too fiery) heat in the aftertaste… fear not ! even fussy guests have come back for seconds. Experiment a little and increase to add more heat if you prefer. Personally we like spicy so use a heaped teaspoon of  curry paste.

– using curry powder instead of curry paste gives quite a different flavour… also, I found that adding it when cooking the veggies or at the end also changes the flavour.  I now prefer to use curry paste and to add it only at the blender stage, after the vegetables are totally cooked. The flavours stay more “pure” we think.

– I have added several peeled and diced potatoes to the recipe as they are a natural thickener and  we love this soup thick!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

– After running out of milk on time,  I now skip the milk in the recipe as we found we liked it better without.

– I add plenty of freshly ground pepper, some whole bayleaf, but no salt. (Shhhhh ….No-one I’ve served it to knows this and nobody has missed it yet!)

– Cooking the vegetables in the olive oil before adding any other liquid gives amazing flavour.. skipping this step does make a difference to the result! ( I sometimes add a tablespoon of butter to the olive oil for a little extra yum factor)

I have given the recipe per the original and added my extras as “optional”

1 onion
450g parsnips (1 lb)
225g carrots  (1/2 lb)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
350 ml vegetable stock
300 ml skim milk
salt and pepper

1 small teaspoon Green (or Red) curry paste (or to taste)  (optional)

3 potatoes, peeled and diced ( cook with carrot and parsnip) (optional)

2 bayleaf ( cook with vegetables but remove before blending!) (optional)

Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel and cut parsnips and carrots into evenly sized pieces.
Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the vegetables, coat with oil,and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring, for a minute.
Stir in the stock and milk. Season with salt and pepper.
Bring to the boil then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes until vegetables are soft.
Allow to cool a little, and then puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. If it’s too thick for your liking add more stock.


(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This is when I like to add the curry paste…


(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s the consistancy of mashed potato so I add some water to thin it….


(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I took these photos after it came out of the fridge and before heating it in the crock-pot later, so it looks thicker now than it  ended up being when we served it. ( and the very top photo in this post is of an earlier batch, but still the same soup)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Reheat gently to serve.

…and Enjoy!


  1. Of course, you had me at parsnip!

    With that said, however, what do you propose for someone who is not all that certain she is a fan of curry? I *think* I’ve had something curried and came away thinking ‘hmmmm, I don’t care much for that.’ Now, I realize, when one tries soemthing curried, and likes it or doesn’t, it is similar to trying something with Italian meat sauce and knowing, everyone has their own version so if you like or do not like one, it is no indication of whether or not you like or hate all Italian.

    Did I lose you? Bear with me! 🙂

    So, what is one to do with no doubt a DELICIOUS soup recipe but it contains a worrisome ingredient?

    Please advise oh wise one! 🙂

    Comment by milkayphoto — February 3, 2011 @ 8:57 pm | Reply

    • I’d seriously advise you to look for Thai curry paste. It comes in red or green versions, either would be good. It will give you a VERY different taste to regular curry, it’s deep, mellow and the flavours ting on you tongue one by one. DO give it a go… do a level teaspoon the first time and up it afterwards if you feel you like it stronger. It’s VERY different to any curry you might have had before… I highly recommend it.
      Wise one? Oooh yes, but it’s our secret ok? (don’t tell Himself or the kids, they will pee themselves laughing!)

      Comment by kiwidutch — February 3, 2011 @ 9:15 pm | Reply

      • Thanks, Kiwi! Great advice!!

        Thai Chilli Paste has been added to the grocery list. Always interesting to try something new and I know that I didn’t quite care much for the roasted parsnip/pear soup I recently made (followed a recipe I found). Flavors weren’t round – it simply tasted of parsnip and I love parsnips and all and for me, this was just too much. I hope this version of soup delivers exactly what I am looking for!

        Okay, you are talking to me, right? You know I LOVED getting you to make the piggy noise and now there’s an op to get himself and the kids to pee themselves?? Tempting!! 🙂

        Comment by milkayphoto — February 3, 2011 @ 9:51 pm | Reply

        • I’ll hide the evidence dear friend ! Himself and the kids will never know ( ok, maybe an envelope to be opened on my death-bed LOL)
          Please amend your shopping list though please please… it’s Thai Curry paste not chilli paste, yes?
          A parsnip and pear mix sounds like it might be overly sweet to me? the carrots even out the taste in this and give a nice balance.

          Comment by kiwidutch — February 4, 2011 @ 8:06 am | Reply

      • Er, yeah, CURRY paste, that’s what I meant!

        Aren’t all foodies dyslexic? 🙂

        Yes, and roasted so sweetness factor sky high with simply nothing to play off the parsnip flavor. Not completely horrible but not to be made again!

        Comment by milkayphoto — February 4, 2011 @ 1:09 pm | Reply

  2. mhm – the endresult looks soo tasty – makes me hungry :/

    Comment by SkP — February 4, 2011 @ 12:03 am | Reply

    • Thanks and welcome to my blog Skp!
      Do have a go at this recipe, it’s King amongst Soup Recipes I can tell you! (and it’s a Foodies mission to make people drool LOL)

      Comment by kiwidutch — February 4, 2011 @ 7:59 am | Reply

  3. Wonderful soup! Hubby liked it as well! (He even cleaned wiped the cup clean with a piece of bread!)

    Made a batch more according to the changes you’ve made (curry paste instead of curry powder, no milk, etc.) I didn’t have potatoes on hand so it was only onions/carrots/parsnips. I was making chicken stock at the time so it was nice to have fresh stock to add to the soup! I even LOVED the way the soup tasted with the vegetables simmering in the broth…yum! VERY similar to how I make chicken soup!

    The curry paste (an ingredient I hadn’t used before) adds a interesting background subtle flavor (I only used a small amount). I also did add a little bit of salt to the veggies during the saute process (a step I always do to bring out their flavor). When served, I added a splash of heavy cream to each cup which added a slight richness when swirled in.

    YUMMY! 🙂

    Comment by milkayphoto — February 9, 2011 @ 1:11 pm | Reply

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