This creamy roasted garlic and parsnip soup is nourishing, comforting, and the perfect way to enjoy roasted root vegetables.
With every soup season that rolls around, I try to make a point of trying new recipes in addition to enjoying my tried and trues—like this indulgent crab bisque. As far as brothy soups go, this years winner is hands down my super cozy chicken tortilla soup. But when it comes to creamy vegetarian blends, this rich and silky roasted garlic and parsnip soup takes the proverbial cake.
This soup is *so* flavor-filled with toasty, sweet, herbaceous, and savory. I mean, you have to know you’re in for a treat when a recipe calls for an entire head of roasted oil-drizzled garlic ;)
It’s also incredibly simple. Like, roast-some-veggies-and-blend-them-into-a-purée simple.
And hey! For extra garlicky goodness, serve it with a fresh hunk of this Dutch Oven Bread with Roasted Garlic and Rosemary.
What is a parsnip?
If you’re well-versed with produce, you’re probably familiar with this root veg. But many still scratch their heads at the mention—even some folks working at the grocery store. In all fairness, it’s not the most exciting and attractive veg. But! It definitely deserves more attention.
The parsnip is closely related to the carrot, which shouldn’t be a shocker since it looks almost identical save for the fact that it’s larger in size and lighter in color. When left in the ground to mature, the parsnip becomes sweeter after winter frosts. This is when you’d want to harvest it. (Fun fact: it was used as a sweetener in Europe before the arrival of cane sugar!)
Parsnips can be eaten raw, but they’re best when cooked—especially when roasted or blended into soups. And it’s super good for you! It’s high in vitamins, minerals, soluble and insoluble dietary fibers, and it’s chock full of antioxidants.
All in all, a great vegetable to start cooking with.
How to make Creamy Roasted Garlic and Parsnip Soup.
- Place the cubed parsnips into a large bowl. Sprinkle with fresh chopped rosemary, salt, and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat.
- Transfer the parsnips to a baking sheet and spread them out evenly.
- Take the head of garlic and cut about 1/4 inch from the top to expose the tips of the individual cloves. Place the garlic head cut side up onto a square of tin foil. Drizzle about a bit of olive oil over the bulb to oil up the exposed cloves of garlic. Then, close the foil creating a tent for the garlic bulb. Place the wrapped bulb onto the middle of the baking sheet along with the parsnips.
- Bake in the oven at 400º F for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, start your partially caramelized onions. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil and two tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once the butter is foaming, stir in the chopped onions and bring the heat to medium-low. A full proper caramelization would take about 40 minutes to an hour. To cut back on time, we’re partially caramelizing these onions for about 20-25 minutes. This will still bring out some nice sweetness!
- Once the onions are soft, golden, and lightly caramelized, stir in the broth, increase the heat, and bring to a light simmer.
- When the broth starts to simmer, remove itn from the heat.
- Place the roasted parsnips into a blender along with the roasted garlic (squeeze the soft roasted garlic, clove by clove).
- Add the broth and onions.
- Blend on high until you reach a smooth and silky consistency. Tip: Bring the blender power to high very gradually to prevent a spill and burning yourself with hot liquid.
- Serve hot, garnished with toasted pine nuts, microgreens, root chips, etc. A zig zag of cream is also a nice delicacy.
How to toast pine nuts.
Toasted pine nuts add such a nice, rich, and nutty flavor when used as a garnish to salads and soups. They’re a favorite in this house, so I toast the entirety of the batch I come home with. Time depends on the amount of pine nuts you’re toasting, but all you want to do is distribute the nuts as evenly as possibly in a dry pan and heat them over medium-low, stirring often. They take a while to get toasting, but once they start, the toast quickly! So it’s important to keep a close eye on them; they’ll burn quickly. As they toast, stir them and shake the pan. Once the pine nuts are aromatic and most of them are golden in color, remove them from the heat and set them aside. You can keep any unused pine nuts in a sealed container in your pantry for easy future grabs :)
I hope you enjoy this cozy soup as much as I do.
If you try this recipe or create your own variation, let me know in the comments! I love connecting with you. Then snap a photo and tag me on Insta @killing__thyme :)
Creamy Roasted Garlic and Parsnip Soup
- 1.5 lbs parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped/cubed
- 1 TBSP chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 large head of garlic
- 2.5 TBSP olive oil
- 2 TBSP butter
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
- Toasted pine nuts
- Crushed root vegetable chips
- Preheat oven to 400º F.
- Place the chopped parsnips into a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and freshly chopped rosemary. Drizzle 1 TBSP of olive oil on top and toss to coat. Transfer the parsnips to a baking sheet and evenly distribute them over the surface.
- Remove any extra papery outer layers of the garlic bulb, leaving the skins of the individual cloves of garlic intact. Cut about 1/4 inch from the top of the cloves to expose the tips of the individual cloves. Place the garlic head, cut side up, onto a square of tin foil. Drizzle the rest of the olive oil (1/2 tablespoon) over the bulb to oil up the exposed cloves of garlic. Then, close up the foil creating a tent for the garlic bulb. Placed the wrapped bulb onto the middle of the baking sheet along with the parsnips.
- Bake the parsnips and garlic for 30 minutes, or until the parsnips are tender and the garlic is a pasty consistency—enough so you can squeeze it out of the bulbs.
- While the parsnips and garlic roast, start your onions. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a sauce pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter has melted and is foamy, add the diced onions and bring the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring often, for about 20 minutes or until the onions are soft and golden in color, slightly caramelized. Add the broth, and bring the heat to medium-high until the broth simmers. Once the broth is simmering, remove from the heat and set aside.
- Place the roasted parsnips into a high-powered blender, then add the roasted garlic by gently pressing the garlic out from the cloves. Transfer the broth and onions to the blender, and blend until the mixture is silky and smooth. (Depending on the size of your blender, you may have to do this in batches.) If you want a more liquidy soup, just add a bit more broth until you get the consistency you want.
- Serve the soup hot and garnish with toasted pine nuts, microgreens, crushed root chips, and/or a drizzle of cream.