Creamy Parsnip and Orange Soup

11:30 am on 25 June 2012

From Southern Woman’s Kitchen by Joan Bishop
Published by Random House

Parsnips are a rather neglected vegetable. As well as a very tasty accompaniment to the roast, they also make glorious soup. In winter when we crave a bowl of hot, nourishing and comforting soup, parsnips are cheap and plentiful. This deep creamy yellow vegetable is at its best after a frost or two has developed its sweetness. The following marry particularly well with parsnips — olive oil,orange juice, chicken stock, ginger and cinnamon, and I’ve combined these ingredients with parsnip to create a deliciously harmonious and subtle soup.

(Serves 6-7)

Creamy Parsnip and Orange SoupIngredients

  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 plump cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 900g parsnips, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 4 teaspoons grated or finely chopped root ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup orange juice (second measure)
  • 1¼ cups light and creamy evaporated milk
  • salt
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts and orange zest to garnish


Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan and stir in the onion.Sauté for a couple of minutes without browning, then add the garlic and first measure of orange juice. Place a piece of damp greaseproof paper on top of the onion and garlic and cover with a lid. Cook over a low heat for 15 minutes or until the onion is softened but not browned. Remove the lid and paper.

Increase the heat to medium, stir in the parsnip and sauté for 2–3 minutes. Add the chicken stock, ginger, cinnamon and the second measure of orange juice and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for about 20 minutes until the parsnip is very tender.

Cool a little, then purée until smooth in a blender or food processor.

Return to the saucepan and add the evaporated milk. Reheat but do not boil. Season with salt to taste.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and sprinkle with the toasted walnuts and orange zest.

Toasting nuts and seeds

To toast nuts or seeds, heat a dry frypan to medium heat. Add the nuts or seeds, stirring frequently or shaking the pan, until they are golden brown. They will burn very easily so watch carefully. When golden, tip onto a paper towel and set aside until ready to use.

John Hawkesby’s wine recommendation

Lawsons Dry Hills 2010

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