Parsnip-Pear Soup

Parsnip-Pear Soup

Swirls of cream and a sprinkling of pistachios and thyme leaves draw the eye to Parsnip-Pear Soup, a mingling of gentle flavors perfect to serve before a crackling fire.

Parsnip-Pear Soup
Makes 6 to 8 servings
  • 1½ pounds parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces (approximately 4½ cups chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1⅓ pounds ripe but firm Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1-inch pieces (approximately 3½ cups chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (¼-inch) chopped yellow onion
  • ¾ cup (¼-inch) chopped celery
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 whole cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon Champagne vinegar
  • Garnish: chopped roasted and salted pistachios, fresh thyme leaves
  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add parsnips and oil to prepared pan; sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper, stirring until well combined.
  3. Bake until parsnips are almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Stir in pears; bake until parsnips and pears are tender, 10 minutes more.
  4. In a large Dutch oven, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic; cook, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add parsnip mixture, stock, ½ cup water, sage, thyme, bay leaf, cloves, nutmeg, and remaining ¾ teaspoon salt. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf and cloves.
  5. Working in batches, add soup mixture to the container of a blender; purée until smooth and return soup mixture to Dutch oven. Stir in cream, cooking over medium heat just until heated through. Stir in vinegar.
  6. Divide soup mixture among desired serving bowls. Using a small spoon, dot surface of soup in each bowl with additional cream, swirling as desired with a wooden pick. Garnish with pistachios and thyme, if desired.
When reheating, add a little water or stock to achieve desired consistency.


To see more deliciousness from “Comforts from the Cottage Table,” see the September 2021 issue, available at

September 2021 issue

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