Parsnip and Pear Soup is one of our favourite healthy soups to enjoy during the cold Fall and Winter months.
Our homemade creamy Parsnip and Pear Soup recipe is quick and easy to make, ready to serve in under 1 hour!
Spoon through a bowl of our vegetarian Parsnip and Pear Soup recipe featuring flavourful garlic, onion, thyme and maple syrup.
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What Is Soup?
Soup is a liquid food, generally served warm or hot (but can also be served cold like gazpacho), that is prepared by combining meat or vegetables with stock or water.
Hot soups are additionally characterized by boiling solid ingredients in liquids in a pot until the flavours are extracted, creating a rich broth.
Soups are similar to stews, and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two. Soups generally have more liquid (broth) than chunkier and heartier stews.
In traditional French cuisine, soups are classified into two groups: clear soups (bouillon and consomme) and thick soups (purees, bisques, veloutes).
Purées are vegetable soups thickened with starch; bisques are made from puréed shellfish or vegetables thickened with cream; cream soups may be thickened with béchamel sauce; and veloutés are thickened with eggs, butter, and cream.
History of Soup
Evidence of the existence of soup can be found as far back as about 20,000 BC. Boiling was not a common cooking technique until the invention of waterproof containers, such as clay pots. To boil the water hot rocks were used.
The word soup comes from French soupe (broth), which comes through Vulgar Latin suppa (“bread soaked in broth”) from a Germanic source, from which also comes the word “sop”, a piece of bread used to soak up soup or a thick stew.
The word restaurant (meaning “restoring”) was first used in France in the 16th century, to refer to a highly concentrated, inexpensive soup, sold by street vendors, that was advertised as a cure to physical exhaustion. In 1765, a Parisian entrepreneur opened a shop specializing in such soups. This prompted the use of the modern word restaurant for eating establishments.
In America, the first colonial cookbook was published by William Parks in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1742, based on Eliza Smith’s The Compleat Housewife; or Accomplished Gentlewoman’s Companion, and it included several recipes for soups and bisques.
English cooking dominated early colonial cooking; but as new immigrants arrived from other countries, other national soups gained popularity. In particular, German immigrants living in Pennsylvania were famous for their potato soups. In 1794, Jean Baptiste Gilbert Payplat dis Julien, a refugee from the French Revolution, opened an eating establishment in Massachusetts called The Restorator, and became known as the “Prince of Soups”.
Where To Eat Parsnip and Pear Soup
If you live in a large city in North America you’ll likely have access to plenty of soup-specific restaurants. We also love to visit local, family-run diners and cafes that offer menus specializing in “soups, sandwiches and salads.”
In Toronto, popular restaurants that serve soup include RaviSoups, Soup Nutsy, United Bakers Dairy, Cafe Polonez, Saffron Spice Kitchen, Santouka Ramen, Sansotei Ramen, Kenzo Ramen, Kinton Ramen, Ajisen Ramen, Maison Selby, Pho Vistro, Pho Hung, The Golden Turtle, Maha’s, Pai, Sabai Sabai, Khao San Road, One Love Vegetarian and Fabarnak.
My Family Loves Parsnip and Pear Soup
My dad would often make cream of tomato soup and serve a bowl with grilled cheese sandwiches and pickles. Our family also loved slurping through bowls of Butternut Squash Soup and Chicken Noodle Soup.
During October in Ontario we’d often visit popular Fall Fairs in Norfolk County, Niagara and Prince Edward County to go on fun rides, run through corn mazes and purchase fresh local fruits and vegetables at the peak of harvest season.
During the colder months of the year my family love to roast root vegetables like parsnip, potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots. My parents have a particular penchant for savoury dishes featuring parsnips and sweet pear desserts.
This easy homemade Parsnip and Pear Soup was an instant hit thanks to its healthy and flavourful vegetarian ingredients.
Is Parsnip and Pear Soup Vegetarian or Vegan?
Our Parsnip and Pear Soup recipe is vegetarian friendly.
We use vegetable stock for the broth, olive oil to cook the vegetables and cream to add a rich and creamy texture.
If you’re looking to make a Vegan Parsnip and Pear Soup we suggest substituting the cream with milk.
Vegetarians may even want to garnish the soup with aged cheeses like Parmesan, Applewood Smoked Cheddar, Grizzly Gouda, Stevenson’s Red Leicester Cheese, Rocinante Iberico, Vache Maigre, Gruyere, Piave Stravecchio, Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar, Ossau-Iraty Brebis, Mimolette, Manchego or Beemster XO.
Parsnip and Pear Soup Health Benefits
Our Parsnip and Pear Soup recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.
Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of leeks can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Parsnips are an excellent source of dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The root vegetable aids in weight loss, protects against cancer and supports immune function.
Pears are rich in essential antioxidants, plant compounds, and dietary fibre. They pack all of these nutrients in a fat free, cholesterol free, 100 calorie package.
Rich in energy-boosting manganese and anti-inflamatory phytochemicals, thyme may help keep your blood and immune system healthy.
Parsnip Soup Tips
This healthy vegetarian soup recipe is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few tips for first time soup makers!
- Use a large cast iron dutch oven with a high rim to reduce splatter when cooking.
- In our recipe below we suggest using an immersion blender to puree the cooked vegetables but you could also use a heavy duty Vitamix.
- We suggest using a high quality rubber spatula spoon when making soup so you can easily stir, scrape down the side of the pot and sip to check if it needs to be seasoned further with more salt before spooning into bowls.
- This recipe calls for raw chopped parsnip, but if you have time you can also roast them in the oven before blending them into the soup. Homemade roasted parsnip adds an additional layer of flavour to the soup and can act as a great garnish to this recipe too!
- If you’re a cheese lover feel free to add up to 1 cup of your favourite shredded aged cheese to the soup, like parmesan, cheddar or gruyere. Add the shredded cheese in Step 3, when adding the cream.
- Additional vegetarian friendly garnishes that taste and look great on this soup include smoked nuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, chopped freshly plucked herbs, grated pear and apple, crumbled blue cheese, chili flakes and olive oil fried croutons.
What To Serve with Parsnip Soup
If you’re hosting a large dinner party you might want to serve our Parsnip and Pear Soup as an appetizer before serving heartier mains. We love serving this soup with Osaka Okonomayaki, Calgary Ginger Beef, Keto Jalapeno Poppers, Instant Pot Short Rib Ragu, Cheesy Polenta, Vegetarian Roti Canai Curry, Gruyere Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Old School Cheese and Onion Pie, Green Onion Cake, Baked Mediterranean Chicken Thighs, Baked Chicken Cracklings, Homemade Savoury Pickle Pie, Indian Crepes, Vietnamese Crepe Bánh Xèo, Tartiflette Reblochon or Ricotta Gnocchi.
After dinner why not dazzle your guests with one of our popular desserts such as Oat Flour Cookies with Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies, Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes Recipe or Cinnamon Babka For Chocolate Lovers.
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If you have leftover soup you can store the soup base in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. To reheat simply zap it in the microwave or simmer in a small saucepan on the stove.
We love doubling our soup recipes so can store leftovers in the freezer and save time on cooking in the kitchen. We suggest storing leftover soup in Pyrex freezer safe containers that have a snug lid so there’s not spilling. My mother often uses old glass pasta sauce jars to store soup in the freezer.
Be sure to let your soup reach room temperature before storing it in the freezer. If you add a hot jar of soup to a cold freezer it will significantly reduce the interior temperature and potentially spoil your food.
How To Make Creamy Vegetarian Parsnip and Pear Soup
Creamy Vegetarian Parsnip and Pear Soup
- Duch oven or large pot
- Wooden spoon
- vegetable peeler
- French knife
- measuring spoons
- measuring cups
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Spanish onion chopped
- 4 Garlic cloves minced
- 3 Parsnips peeled and chopped
- 1 Ripe pear cored and chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp Fresh thyme
- 4 cups Vegetable stock
- 1 cup Whipping cream
- 3 tbsp Dry Sherry
- 1 tbsp Maple syrup
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- In a large pot or dutch oven, warm olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté the onion for 3-5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the parsnips, pear, fresh thyme, and stock along with 2 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20–30 minutes, until the parsnips are soft and tender.
- Add the cream, dry sherry, maple syrup and season with salt and pepper.
- Turn off heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Purée the soup with an immersion blender or Vitamix until smooth.
- Serve soup hot topped with drizzle of cream, maple syrup and pear chips.
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