This delicious curried parsnip soup is prepared with plant-based vegan ingredients and is super creamy, packed with sweet curry and nutty parsnip flavours. Finished off with a crunchy garnish of toasted sunflower seeds and a swirl of fresh plant cream.
Curried parsnip soup is an easy, quick and incredibly budget-friendly meal and is the perfect way to use up a bag of parsnips for a dish that the whole family will enjoy.
The parsnips shine within this appetite-inducing soup in such a way that even if you are not keen on parsnips this soup will readily convert you over to the parsnip side!
An added bonus is that parsnip soup can be easily prepared as gluten-free.
Serve for an everyday meal, or add your favourite curry condiments and accompaniments for an extra special meal or starter.
Curried parsnip soup garnished with plant cream, mango chutney, crushed poppadom's, toasted sunflower seeds and red pepper flakes.
Parsnips In History
Parsnips originate throughout Europe and Asia.
The Romans either farmed or harvested wild parsnips and used them in many dishes including parsnip fries/chips!
During Roman times parsnips and carrots were treated as almost the same vegetable even sharing the same name pastinaca in many old recipes. It didn't help that the carrot of Roman times was likely to be white in colour!
Historically parsnips were popular throughout Britain and Ireland as this hardy vegetable can survive in the ground during the winter months, even coping with being frozen and defrosted within the soil!
As parsnips are a valuable source of vitamin C they were a useful vegetable during the colder months when many fresh veggies are out of season.
A bowl of hot, comforting, wholesome parsnip soup or stew would have been very welcome after a hard day of work.
During the 1940s when WW2 led to food shortages and rationing, British recipes made use of the parsnips natural sweetness by including the parsnip in recipes such as parsnip pudding and mock bananas.
Mock bananas were prepared by boiling and mashing parsnips along with a little sugar and banana essence. The mock banana was enjoyed as a sandwich filling or in any recipe where bananas were required.
In modern times, parsnips are relatively inexpensive during the winter and spring months and so are perfect for budget-friendly tasty soups, stews and curries.
How To Make Curried Parsnip Soup
How To Toast Sunflower Seeds
Store within a covered container and place in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Curried parsnip soup can be frozen for 3-4 months.
Defrost completely before reheating.
Place the parsnip soup into a non-stick saucepan and gently bring to the boil.
Lower the heat and simmer for 1-3 minutes or just until piping hot throughout.
If preferred keep the curried parsnip soup whole without blending, and ensure that the parsnip is diced small before adding to the soup recipe.
Many people prefer having the veggie texture for soups whereas others like a smoother, more velvety soup.
Kids especially may like soup better when it is smooth and easier to eat, so blending can be very helpful as it can encourage kids to eat more veggies.
Simply ensure that the veggie stock/broth is free from gluten ingredients and also check any spice/herb blends for gluten ingredients.
Also check that your vegan margarine, if using, is free from gluten. Or replace the margarine with coconut oil or gluten-free veggie stock/broth.
A few ideas:
* prefer chilli powder to curry powder?
then simply use chilli powder instead for a spicy parsnip soup! Although you may prefer to reduce the spice to a teaspoon or two of chilli powder depending on your heat preferences. Also instead of adding garam masala at the end of cooking, replace with a pinch or two of cayenne pepper.
* a chopped apple or pear can be added along with the parsnips for extra sweet fruity flavours
* add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice at the end of cooking for a fresh, zesty kick
* instead of chickpeas use any white creamy bean such as butterbeans, cannellini or haricot [navy] beans
* fresh onion can be replaced with the dried variety about 1-2 teaspoons, or use already diced frozen onion for convenience
* instead of dried ginger use 1-2 teaspoons of ginger puree or a 1 inch piece of ginger root minced or fine diced
* the garlic powder can be replaced with about 4 cloves of garlic fine diced/minced
* the sunflower seed garnish can be replaced with pumpkin, sesame, poppy seeds. Or flaked almonds, crushed walnuts, chopped cashews or peanuts.
* the plant cream garnish can be either shop-bought or home-made. I like to use the Elmlea plant cream, Alpro soya cream or Oatly oat cream. For an easy home-made version see below.
One way to make an easy home-made plant cream is to blend equal amounts of cashew nuts with water.
Such as ½-1 cup of cashew nuts to ½-1 cup of water.
Blend until its as smooth as you can get it depending on your blender capabilities. The cream can be strained through a sieve if little pieces remain unblended.
However, if I am adding the cashew cream to a soup or stew I don't generally mind the little pieces, its just extra texture!
It can be easier to blend the cashews if the cashews are left to soak in boiling water for a few hours, before rinsing and replacing with fresh water to blend.
Although even if you usually dislike the flavour or texture of parsnips, you may find that preparing the parsnips as a curried soup is a totally different experience.
Instead of parsnips use:
[do take into account the different cooking times for the root veggie that you choose]
* potatoes, including sweet potatoes
* yuca [yucca]/cassava roots
Other veggies which are not root ones but are perfect for this recipe include:
* butternut squash
* acorn pumpkin
* sweet pumpkin
* bell peppers, especially sweeter ones such as red, orange and yellow
More delicious vegan soup recipes:
Old-fashioned cream of swede [rutabaga] soup [with home-made croutons]
Curried Parsnip Soup [with chickpeas]
- Large non-stick saucepan/soup pan with lid
- immersion/stick blender or stand blender, optional for blending finished soup
- Small non-stick pan optional, for toasting sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoon vegan margarine or ½ cup veggie stock
- 650 grams parsnips about 6 medium, weight is after slicing the ends and prepping. If the skins are unblemished leave these on.
- 185 grams onion 1 medium-large, sliced
- 1 can chickpeas 400gram/14oz can, drained or any white cooked bean
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder or 4 garlic cloves fine diced/minced, or 1-2 teaspoons garlic puree
- 1 teaspoon dried ginger or 1 inch of fresh ginger root diced/minced, or 1-2 teaspoons ginger puree
- 4 teaspoon curry powder for milder spiced soup choose a mild or medium curry powder
- 1.2 litre vegetable stock broth, hot
Once soup is ready:
- 2 teaspoon garam masala spice blend optional, if a milder soup if preferred omit this spice mix
- drizzle of plant cream or vegan sour cream/plant yogurt [either shop-bought or homemade]
- 4 tablespoon sunflower seeds plain or toasted, or replace with pumpkin, sesame or poppy seeds, or flaked almonds, cashews, walnuts etc
- Melt the margarine within the non-stick pot. Or if using veggie stock add to the pot and bring to a simmer.
- Add the parsnips, onions, fresh or dried garlic powder, dried ginger or fine chopped ginger root, and curry powder and cook over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently. While the veggies are sauting pop the lid on the pot half way over.
- Depending on your pot you may need to add a small splash of water every now and again to avoid the veggies sticking as they cook.
- Chuck the chickpeas in the pot and stir well. Pour in the hot veggie stock/broth. Add a little salt and pepper.
- Bring to the boil and lower the heat to a simmer.Cover the pot half way with a lid.
- Simmer for 25 minutes or until the parsnips have cooked through.Stir through the garam masala [optional, if a milder flavour is preferred leave this spice blend out]
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. [a squeeze of fresh lemon juice is a nice additional seasoning]
- Blend the soup to a smooth puree with a stick/immersion blender or stand blender.
- Serve with a swirl of plant cream or sour cream and a sprinkle of toasted sunflower seeds. A dollop of mango chutney is also nice, as are a few crushed popadom's sprinkled over the top or serve whole popadom's on the side for dipping into the soup.
To toast sunflower seeds: [optional, as can simply have the seeds without toasting]
- Heat a small non-stick fry pan or skillet.Add the sunflower seeds and stir or shake the pan frequently as they heat up and toast.
- Once the sunflower seeds start to colour remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir or shake, as the seeds will continue to colour within the residual heat.
- If liked add a pinch of salt to the sunflower seeds before toasting or other preferred seasoning or spice. Garam masala or curry powder is particularly tasty added to the sunflower seeds during toasting.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Nutritional data includes the sunflower seed topping but not the vegan cream. If the sunflower seeds are removed the calories for each serving drop to 245 per portion and the fat to 7 grams.
- Even though the sunflower seeds contribute to the calorie and fat content, the seeds are good fats and very nutritious, and can help keep us fuller for longer.
- Replace the sunflower seeds with pumpkin, sesame, poppy seeds, or flaked almonds, crushed walnuts, chopped cashews, etc.
- This recipe results in about 1.5 litres [1.5 quarts] of soup [measured after pureed] and calories are worked out at 5 servings of 300 millilitres [1 ¼ US cups] per bowl.
- Smaller portions will result in more servings, and if preferred the soup can be thinned out with extra veggie stock/broth or plant cream/milk for extra servings.
- Store parsnip soup in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Or freeze for 3-4 months.
- Parsnips can be replaced with a different root veggie such as carrots, turnips, swede, rutabaga, cassava, yuca, yams, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beetroot, celeriac.
- For a gluten-free curried parsnip soup select a gluten-free veggie stock and ensure that any spice/herb mixes used are also free from gluten ingredients.
- Serve parsnip soup with your favourite curry condiments and accompaniments such as mango chutney, mint sauce, lime pickle, poppadum's, lentil crisps/crackers, naan breads, vegan cream, sour cream or plain yogurt.
- To bulk out the soup into a larger meal serve ladled over a serving of rice at the bottom of the soup bowl.
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