Pear and Parsnip Soup

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Pear and Parsnip Soup by Liz the Chef

Finally, it is “soup weather” here in San Diego, just a week until Thanksgiving. Inspired by Ina Garten’s gorgeous new cookbook Make It Ahead, I adapted her parsnip and pear gratin and made soup today.

This is a nice starter for a fall dinner party or makes a cozy lunch on a chilly day, “chilly” being anything below 70 degrees here in Southern California.

Always alert for ways to cut fat and salt, I cut out the eggs and sour cream in Ina’s tempting gratin. Same with the salt – she really overdoes it in most of her recipes, at least to my taste. We have watched salt since Larry’s heart attack in 2011, so taste yours and season it to your liking.

By the way, the color was unplanned and is due to the orange-ish color of the vegetable stock I used. Think Thanksgiving…

TIP: I tried to use my immersion blender, hoping to avoid cleaning either the blender or food processor, but it just didn’t get the soup as creamy as with my Vitamix.

Pear and Parsnip Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: serves 4
A creamy pear and parsnip soup, a perfect starter for autumn dinner parties.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1½ pounds parsnips, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 ripe Bosc pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock, preferably organic
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ cup cream
  • white truffle oil, optional garnish
  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot, such as a Dutch oven. Add the parsnips and pears and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, without browning.
  2. Add the vegetable stock, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover and cook until pears and parsnips are tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Using either a blender or processor, purée soup until smooth.
  4. Add cream and taste for seasoning. Simmer until soup is heated through, about 5 minutes.
  5. Ladle into bowls, garnish with truffle oil and serve.


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12 Responses to Pear and Parsnip Soup

  1. Oui, Chef November 21, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

    It’s been soup weather here for a while. How nice that I now have a new soup to add to my rotation, thanks, Liz!

    • Liz November 21, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

      Happy Thanksgiving, Steve, to you and your family.

  2. Suzanne November 21, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

    Now thats a beautiful bowl of soup, love the combination. I think I would like it much better than the gratin. Happy Thanksgiving Liz.

    • Liz November 21, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

      Happy Thanksgiving, Suzanne – is has been a rough six weeks for both of us, but we have so much to be thankful for, yes?

  3. Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious November 21, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

    That is one beautiful bowl of soup!

    • Liz November 21, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

      Thanks, Dorothy – Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  4. Sippitysup November 22, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

    That Vitamix is magic. GREG

    • Liz November 22, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

      Indeed it is, Greg, and I should use it for more than morning smoothies and soups.

  5. susan @ the wimpy vegetarian December 7, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

    Pears and parsnips are such a wonderful combination, Liz. I hope you and Larry had a wonderful Thanksgiving 🙂

    • Liz December 8, 2014 at 7:40 am #

      Hope your Thanksgiving went well, too – I am keying down for Christmas – just the two of us for a change.

      • susan @ the wimpy vegetarian December 13, 2014 at 11:18 am #

        Same for us I think this year. We have plans both before and after Christmas, but I think it’s just the two of us this year for Christmas Eve and Day. We’ll be here in Tahoe and it should be a very relaxing time before family arrives at New Years 🙂

        • Liz December 13, 2014 at 11:22 am #

          Time alone with Larry feels so appealing this year – plenty of time with friends before and after Christmas.

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