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Irish Apple and Parsnip Soup

Serves: Makes 4 servings


  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 leek (white part only), halved lengthwise, washed and dried, cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 large (¾-pound) Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 parsnips (about ½-pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup flat leaf parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly black pepper


Parsnips and turnips were used extensively in rural Ireland to give variety to meals in the winter when green vegetables were in little supply. Surprisingly, this vegetarian soup is a wonderful balance of sweet apple flavors with parsnip overtones. I prefer to use Granny Smith apples, as they have a little more acidic flavor, which rounds out the richness of this soup. Serve soup on its own, or with a slice of Irish soda bread.

Place a large saucepan on the stove over a medium heat. Add the butter, and when melted, add shallots, leeks and garlic and using a wooden spoon to occasionally stir. Cook until leeks are tender, about 7 minutes.

Add the potato, parsnips and apples and cook until just potatoes are starting to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the broth and apple juice; reduce stove temperature to a simmer. Cover the saucepan and cook until the vegetables are very soft, about 30 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the parsley and using a blender, or an immersion blender, thoroughly purée the mixture.

Return the saucepan to the stove over a medium-low heat and stir in the milk. Heat the soup, stirring occasionally, until the soup is heated through and boils. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Tested and perfected in the Sur la Table kitchen

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