Parsnips and apples, with a hint of curry, compliment each other perfectly in this creamy soup.
The pairing of parsnips with apples intensifies their sweetness, with an added underlying warmth from the curry powder, making this soup truly satisfying.
I love curry flavor, like many Irish people. A teaspoon of mild curry powder, a hint of ginger and black pepper create a mildly spicy flavor level, but rest assured, this isn’t an overly hot soup, merely one that tantalizes the taste buds.
Heavy rain and blustery winds are always a reminder the season for hats, scarves and gloves is just around the corner. But as the colder days of winter beckon, there’s always comfort to be found in the kitchen.
The right soup is perfect comfort food. There is something reassuring about holding a mug of warm soup, blowing gently to cool it before it works its magic, warming the heart.
Parsnip and apple soup is smooth and creamy, and for me is certainly one of the best comforting soups in my recipe box.
Parsnips appear to be far less popular in America than they are in Ireland. They are a staple on most Irish dinner menus, and I remember eating them at least once a week when I was a kid in Ireland.
And so, I decided why not make a parsnip soup…. or for some crazy reason, my brain keeps saying parsnip snoup.
Anyway, here’s my recipe …..
- 2 oz butter
- 2 shallots
- 3 large parsnips
- 1 medium apple (Granny Smith or a cooking apple if you’re in Ireland)
- 1 medium potato (or 2 small potatoes)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- salt and plenty pepper to season
This is a very simple soup. Start by peeling and chopping the shallots into slices. Peel and dice the potatoes and parsnips into 1 inch pieces.
The first step involves sweating the vegetables. If you need to learn more about the technique of sweating vegetables, check out my post on soup making tips.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the chopped shallots, parsnips and potato.
I use shallots rather than an onion, since their flavor is a little milder, but if you can’t get your hands on shallots, one onion will work just fine.
For this soup in particular I like to add the spices before sweating the vegetables. This helps deepen the spicy flavors in the finished soup.
So, stir in the curry powder and ginger and mix the vegetables so they are completely coated in the spices.
Cover the pan and sweat the vegetables over medium heat for 10 minutes. Shake the pan occasionally to prevent sticking, but avoid lifting the lid and allowing the trapped steam escape.
Add the stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
I like to add a good dash of pepper to this soup, but seasoning is a very personal step in any recipe. For my palate, pepper seems to compliment the flavor of the parsnips.
Next, add the chopped apple and simmer the soup for a further 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly.
I love how the apple pieces just bob and bounce on the surface of the soup.
Purée the soup until the texture is completely smooth using an immersion blender or in batches using a liquidizer or blender.
Add the cream to the soup and mix through. Reheat gently, without boiling, before serving.
And there, you have it – a simple soup made with a favorite Irish vegetable. I love to serve this soup with curried parsnip chips as a garnish – they’re simply delicious.
Here’s my printable recipe:
Wishing you all happy soup making during these chilly days of fall and winter.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom
P.S. My Irish shamrock soup bowl was made by Colm De Ris, an Irish potter.