Parsnip, Round Carrot & Coriander Soup

bowl them over with soup and macarons for starters

bowl them over with soup and macarons for starters

The French call the parsnip (le panais) one of the “forgotten” vegetables.  Sure enough, as I was picking out parsnips at the market recently, I was bowled over when an elderly French lady actually asked little old me what I do with them.

Amazed is an understatement really – it’s the equivalent of someone French coming up to you and asking where to find a certain street.  An instant warm glow heats up inside and suddenly you feel part of it all. Although, perhaps the poor soul had just lost her memory. In any case, nothing gives me the greatest pleasure to share this healthy, velvety soup.

round carrot

 Another ‘forgotten’ vegetable is the round carrot. It was popular in Paris in the 19th Century and a delight to growers, as they don’t need great soil due to their small roots. In French, they’re referred to as Parisian Carrots – is that not so chic? These dumpy veggies are now ‘reminding’ us at the market that they’re so much sweeter than normal carrots – and one of my favourite ways to serve them is simply throw them in a roasting tin with a dash of sugar, butter, oil and thyme and roast them for 45 minutes.

As the parsnips are naturally creamy, they thicken this soup perfectly. When serving this to guests in autumn or winter, it’s always a delight to see their faces light up as you tell them there’s not a drop of cream in it (although adding a touch of sherry is cheeky.)

Parsnip carrot and coriander soup - surprise your guests and serve them with gluten free mini curry macarons

Parsnip, Carrot & Coriander Soup (with mini curry macarons)

 Parsnip, Round Carrot & Coriander Soup

Wildly adapted from Spiced Cream Parsnip Soup from Scottish Traditional Recipes by Carol Wilson & Christopher Trotter.


Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes

50g butter
2 onions, chopped
500g parsnips, peeled & chopped
300g round carrots, peeled & chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp dry sherry
1 litre chicken stock
bunch of fresh coriander, chopped

  1. Melt the butter in a pressure cooker, add the onions, carrots and parsnips and sweat them gently for about 10 minutes without allowing them to colour.  Add the spices.
  2. Pour in the sherry and place the lid on, cooking on a medium heat for 10 minutes until the parsnips and carrots have softened.
  3. Add the stock and season to taste.  Bring to the boil then simmer on the pressure setting for about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat then blitz using a hand blender.

Serve with freshly chopped coriander.

Needing an extra wow factor? Serve a mini soup and a mini Tikka Mac’Sala curry macaron (recipe on p.100 of the book) on the side will guarantee the oh-là-là effect to kick off a special meal. What’s more, it’s gluten free – so replace the bread and butter with mini savoury macarons!

soup with curry macarons


For more on forgotten vegetables, please take take a look at one of my first posts before it was a blog:

Forgotten Legumes, Old Crosnes and a Beetroot Macaron.

18 replies
  1. daksha
    daksha says:

    Hi Jill, this is delicious soup, And your photography is gorgeous – I cant wait to try this recipe. (i use veg stock). ur macrons are superb. yesterday my son is demand a macarons but we are vegetarian by regional. so plz i request u if u have any recipe without egg plz share with us if possible. Thanks Daksha.

  2. Amy
    Amy says:

    I have never seen a round carrot! Hmm…maybe they don’t have them in Minnesota? I love parsnips though! Your soup sounds so warm and delicious! Hope you have a wonderful week Jill :)!

  3. Professor Vegetable
    Professor Vegetable says:

    I’m blown away by this. It looks amazing. I love the flavor choices. I can’t believe people are forgetting parsnips…I use them all the time? I see them at farmer’s markets. They are very good for you provided they are not old.

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Thanks for the lovely comments. Yes, this is a classic but throw in the curry mac and it throws guests but they end up laughing their heads off. It’s so much fun to watch.
      And did I tell you honestly? It’s bloomin’ good to taste together, too 😉

  4. Kim Bee
    Kim Bee says:

    Jill this is so lovely. We grew up eating parsnips all the time. My dad liked some foods that most people here did not. So we got to experience these as well as things like fiddleheads. Those scared me for life I must admit. Yet parsnips I love but rarely eat. I’ll have to look for them now.

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Wow – fiddleheads? Just looked them up since never heard or seen them before. Now that is something that does look spooky but would love to try! You were so lucky to try different experiences, Kim! 🙂

  5. Isabelle
    Isabelle says:

    I’ve never seen round carrots at the markets here in Canada, but I love the idea of a sweeter carrot that can grow in shallow soil… how Parisian, to grow a vegetable that blends practicality and taste! 🙂
    This soup sounds absolutely perfect for fall, especially with a pretty little curry macaron to accompany it.



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