Pear and Parsnip Soup is smooth, creamy comfort. It’s the perfect hug in a bowl during the cold winter months.
And all you have to do is simmer the ingredients and blend!
Plus it happens to be naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo and Whole30 compliant and can be made vegan with vegetable broth.
This post was most recently updated on December 10, 2023.
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Why this recipe works
Parsnip soup is one of my favorite recipes when the weather starts getting chilly. Parsnips look like white carrots and have an earthy, slightly sweet taste and starchy texture. They blend up beautifully for soups.
To give the soup extra dimension, I add pears for a bit more sweetness. But don’t worry, the sweetness doesn’t overwhelm the savoriness.
And I add a third ingredient that might be surprising: pistachios.
They provide additional depth and complexity, plus they help give the soup body and thickness. It’s a creamy parsnip soup without having to add any cream!
I swear I didn’t make this soup just because I like alliteration (look, I like alliteration a lot). I actually found this combination in local culinary hero Stephanie Izard’s Girl in the Kitchen.
Obviously, as she’s a professional chef, her soup is a bit more complicated to make. So I pared it down to its essentials to create an easy parsnip soup that still tastes delicious.
And once you try it, it’ll become a part of your regular recipe rotation.
What you need
Ingredients for the parsnip and pear soup:
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 2-2 1/2 pounds parsnips
- 2 pears (such as Bosc or Bartlett)
- 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
- 2 cups vegetable broth (for vegan) or low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne (optional)
- a cutting board
- a chef’s knife
- a large soup pot or Dutch oven
- measuring spoons
- measuring cups
- a measuring glass
- a vegetable peeler
- a blender or stick blender
How to make Pear and Parsnip Soup
- Peel and chop the parsnips and pears if you wish (I usually peel the parsnips but not the pears). Peel and chop the onion.
- Add them to a large soup pot with the pistachios, broth (store-bought or use your own homemade broth), water and seasonings. You can sauté the onion in 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat for 10 minutes first but I find it unnecessary.
- Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes.
- Blend! You can either use a stick blender (easier but doesn’t get quite as smooth) or in a regular blender. To do so, fill the blender jar only halfway. Then remove the insert from the lid and hold a towel over the opening. Blend until smooth, pour into a bowl and repeat with more of the soup until it’s all blended. Return to the pot on the stove to heat up.
– You can use apples instead of pears. I recommend Granny Smith.
– You can omit the pistachios or use cashews instead – they also add creaminess when blended.
– You can first saute the chopped onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until soft and translucent. Then add the other ingredients and proceed with the recipe.
– You can serve this soup as shooters in shot glasses for parties. Top with some crushed pistachios or finely chopped fresh thyme.
Yep. You can store the soup in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Yep. Store in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Other recipes you might like:
- 3-Ingredient Curried Sweet Potato Soup
- Purple Soup
- Roasted Butternut, Apple and Cardamom Soup
- Instant Pot Bone Broth
Pear and Parsnip Soup
- 1 medium yellow onion peeled and chopped
- 2-2½ lbs. parsnips peeled, ends trimmed, chopped
- 2 pears (such as Bosc or Bartlett) peeled (if desired), cored, chopped
- ½ cup shelled pistachios
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (use veggie broth for vegan option)
- ½ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- In a large pot, add the onion, parsnips, pears, pistachios, salt and cayenne, if using (it adds a wonderful warmth in the back of your throat but feel free to reduce the amount or omit altogether).
- Add the chicken broth and 1½ cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a medium simmer (not too angry, not too chill), and let it bubble away for 20 minutes, by which time the pistachios should be soft enough to blend.