The earthy flavor of parsnips goes especially well with fragrant pears, but carrots or even rutabaga work nicely in this soup as well. Serve it as a first course or as a light main dish with a crusty whole-grain bread.

Carolyn Malcoun
Source: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2008


Recipe Summary

1 hr


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 450 degrees F.

  • Toss parsnips, pears, onion, oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a roasting pan. Roast, stirring every 10 minutes, until very soft and starting to brown, about 40 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, boil vinegar in a small saucepan until syrupy and reduced to about 1/4 cup, 10 to 14 minutes. (Watch the syrup carefully during the last few minutes of reducing to prevent burning.) Remove from the heat.

  • Puree half of the parsnip mixture with broth in a blender until very smooth; transfer to a large saucepan. Puree the other half with milk until very smooth. Add to the saucepan and stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Reheat the soup over medium heat, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Gently reheat the balsamic syrup if it has become thicker than syrup while standing. Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle with the balsamic syrup.


Tip: Remove the fibrous, woody core of parsnips before using: quarter parsnip lengthwise and cut out the core with a paring knife.

Nutrition Facts

257 calories; protein 6.5g 13% DV; carbohydrates 53g 17% DV; exchange other carbs 3.5; dietary fiber 9.5g 38% DV; sugars 29g; fat 3.8g 6% DV; saturated fat 0.8g 4% DV; cholesterol 4.6mg 2% DV; vitamin a iu 194.9IU 4% DV; vitamin c 29.5mg 49% DV; folate 115mcg 29% DV; calcium 177.5mg 18% DV; iron 1.2mg 7% DV; magnesium 60.3mg 22% DV; potassium 1081.3mg 30% DV; sodium 651.9mg 26% DV; thiamin 0.2mg 17% DV.

Reviews (7)

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7 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 3
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 3 stars
Made according to the recipe except I added 2 carrots I had lying around that were about to go bad. Very good however I thought the parsnip taste was a bit overpowering and I didn't get as much pear as I wanted. I'd probably do one less parsnip next time. Still good though! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Delicious This was the first time ever using parsnips. I liked the soup plain but with the balsamic syrup it was even better. My husband like it better without the syrup. I didn't put the syrup on my kid's soup but my 4 year old requested some so I made smiley face with it. My 2 and 4 year old ate it. My 2 year old called mine chocolate because the syrup made it brown. I didn't think I was going to like the syrup because I don't like regular balsamic vinegar but the syrup is great in small amounts. I has some leftover syrup that I put on a salad the next day. It made the salad dreamy. Most of the steps were pretty easy but making the syrup was really time consuming. I think it took about 20 min for mine to turn to syrup and you have to be on top of it the whole time not to mention the very vinegar smell it creates in your house. In the end it is TOTALLY worth the time and smell. Pros: Balsamic vinegar Cons: Kinda demanding Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Not great! Parsnips were way too overpowering! Otherwise bland. No amount of doctoring helped. Will not make again. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Disappointing Was very disappointed in this soup... parsnips have become my new favorite vegetable - loved them mashed stir fried even cooked on the grill - but they just didnt work for me in the soup. For me the balsamic reduction didn't help. My soup was more brown as well - from the browning in the oven. Pull just as they begin to brown if you intend to keep the soup white as pictured - 30-40 minutes is way too long without significant browninb. Pros: Healthy Cons: Lacks flavor high effort Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Huge hit for dinner party Rave reviews from all in attendance the balsamic reduction was even enjoyed drizzled over bread by some. Mine was a bit more roasted so the color was darker but perfect when drizzled with balsamic. I understand that coring parsnips may not be necessary especially roasting but I did follow the recipe and cored and it was stupendous Pros: vegan friendly (used soy milk) Cons: coring parsnips is time consuming Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Skip the balsamic syrup! This soup takes some effort but it tastes amazing! I followed the recipe exactly which is key here. You have to use a blender for the parsnips. I tried a hand blender and splattered myself. The soup is creamy and sweet like a carrot and potato leek soup. Then I made the big mistake of adding the balsamic syrup and it was ruined. It's way too sour. I'll make again when I have time to peel and chop lots of veg. Pros: sweet taste good hot or cold Cons: prep time sour balsamic syrup Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Excellent soup! This is a great soup and the reduced balsamic adds a great contrast. Make sure you begin with a good balsamic vinegar. You do need to watch out toward the end of the reducing because it can burn very quickly. Roasting the veggies gives a great depth to the flavor of the parsnips pears and onions-makes the house smell great. The instructions clearly state to use a blender to puree the roasted veggies with the liquids. Overall this is going to be a soup that I make many times. Read More