This parsnip and swede soup is comforting and delicious. It's got a slightly sweet, nutty flavour, and is very nutritious. Perfect for a cold winter's day!
What you'll love about the recipe
- Parsnip and swede soup makes the most of seasonal winter veggies
- Budget friendly
- Easy to make and ready in 40 minutes. There's no need to roast any of the veggies or turn the oven on.
- Super healthy, with 2 portions of your 5-A-Day
For this parsnip and swede soup recipe you'll need 3 or 4 parsnips depending on their size. There's no need to peel them, just give them a quick scrub. Parsnips are a good source of folate and vitamin C. They are also full of fibre which makes them great for your digestion, and helps to keep you feeling full. (Read more about the health benefits of parsnips)
400g swede will be about half of of a medium sized swede. Swede (also known as rutabaga) is part of the brassica family which means it is also packed with health benefits and high in a number of different vitamins and minerals.
Onions help to balance the sweetness of the parsnips
You'll need olive oil to fry the onions, or you can use another healthy oil if you prefer. You could also add a little knob of butter which will help to brown the veggies and add colour and flavour.
Thyme goes well with the flavours in this parsnip and swede soup. Fresh or dried thyme are both fine.
Stock. You can use either vegetable or chicken stock for the recipe.
Seasoning. Make sure you taste the soup before you add any extra salt as some stock can be quite salty. I like to add a pinch of grated nutmeg as extra seasoning as well as a little pepper.
You can vary the herbs and spices to suit. For a healthy curried parsnip and swede soup, add two teaspoons of curry powder to the onions as you are frying them. For a richer soup, stir in a couple of tablespoons of cream at the end of cooking.
How to make parsnip and swede soup
Heat the olive oil (and butter if using) in a large pan which has a lid. Fry the onions for 5 minutes until starting to soften.
Add the swede and parsnip and fry for another 5 minutes.
Then add the thyme and stock. Cover the pan and bring up to the boil. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. The vegetables should be soft, if they are still a bit firm cook for a few minutes longer.
Blitz the soup with a hand blender, or transfer to a food processor and blitz until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Serving and storage
You could also add some crunch with these crispy roasted chickpeas or toasted seeds.
You can store the soup in the fridge for 2 or 3 days. It also freezes really well.
Frequently asked questions
I prefer to peel the swede for this recipe. Trim the root end and peel with a potato peeler. However, I don't think it is necessary to peel the parsnips, just give them a quick scrub. Leaving the vegetable skins on when you can increases the vitamins and fibre in the finished recipe.
Both swede and potatoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals. However, according to the NHS website, potatoes don't count towards your 5 a day (source), whereas swede does. Swede is also lower in carbs and calories than potatoes.
In this soup recipe I've used thyme which goes very well with parsnips. However, there are plenty of other options you can use. Both sage and bay leaf go well with parsnip. You could also add other spices to the soup such as ginger, or use a blended mix such as curry powder.
Other healthy soup recipes
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Parsnip and Swede Soup
- Blender or food processor
- 2 onions peeled and chopped
- 1 tbsp olive olive
- 10 g butter optional
- 400 g swede peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
- 400 g parsnips scrubbed and cut into 1 cm cubes
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 850 ml stock chicken or vegetable
- seasoning to taste
- Place a large lidded pan on a medium heat and add the olive oil and butter if using. Fry the onions for 5 minutes until starting to soften and brown.
- Add the diced swede and parsnip and continue to fry for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the stock and thyme and cover the pan.
- Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to check that none of the vegetables are sticking on the bottom of the pan. The vegetables should be tender to the point of a knife. If necessary, simmer for slightly longer.
- Blitz the soup until smooth. You can either use an immersion blender in the pan, or transfer the soup to a food processor or blender.
- Taste the soup and add a little more seasoning if necessary (depending on the saltiness of your stock). Serve hot.
- If you like nutmeg, add a pinch when you adjust the seasoning
- For a more indulgent soup, swirl some cream into the bowl when serving
Please note nutritional information is for guidance only