Caramelized Parsnip Soup with Micro Watercress

butterfly Serves: 4

Written By Eydie Desser


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Have you ever had parsnip soup before?  Most people don’t think to make soup from parsnips. . .they always seem to play a supporting role in stock.  Not anymore!  A new vegetable star is born!  This magnificent, easy, healthy soup is the ultimate warming winter soup.  Caramelizing the parsnips is the magic trick to making this soup sweet and with a lot of depth.  As options we note a tiny bit of salt and maple syrup.  I don’t think it needs it, but you may enjoy it!  The micro watercress greens add a nice herbal note, texture and color to the soup. 


  • 1 pound parsnips, washed, stem top removed and cut into ¼” rounds
  • 2-½ cups unsweetened almond milk, plus more if needed later
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
  • 1  package micro watercress


  1. Place a large cast iron skillet or heavy bottomed pan on high heat until smoking. (Do not use a non-stick pan)
  2. Meanwhile, place the almond milk in a 2-3 quart. saucepan over medium heat and bring the liquid to a low simmer.
  3. Place the prepared parsnips in the cast iron skillet. And turn the heat to medium low.  Caramelize the parsnips, turning the pieces over and over until browned on both sides.  Be careful not to blacken the parsnips, but make sure they are a beautiful dark golden brown.
  4. Transfer the parsnips to the saucepan filled with almond milk and continue to simmer until the parsnips are fork tender, about 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a blender and blend, starting on the lowest setting and increasing to high on until the soup is velvety smooth.  
  6. Taste to see if you want to add salt or maple syrup and salt.
  7. Strain the soup through a fine mesh strainer for a smoother, thinner texture. Otherwise it’s wonderful with a thicker texture as well.  Adjust the consistency with additional almond milk if needed to account for evaporation.
To Serve:

Ladle soup in serving bowls and top with a  generous amount of micro watercress greens

butterfly Cook's Notes:
  1. This is a fun hors d’oeuvre, or amuse bouche as well.  Pour through a small funnel into shooter glasses or small cappuccino cups. Top with a couple of watercress leaves.
  2. This recipe was adapted and inspired by Chef Jamie Simpson of The Chef’s Table. 

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