Leek and Parsnip Soup

This is by far one of my favorite soups. It is savory in flavor, yet the parsnip provides that barely perceptible touch of sweetness, that makes this a true winner. We have enjoyed this soup now twice, and when I served it to friends last week the raves were plentiful! Jeff and I used to love Leek and Potato Soup, but have gladly given the no nutrient, white potato the boot, I in favor of the parsnip, which is rich in antioxidants, are high in soluble and insoluble fiber, and support the immune system as they are rich in Vitamin C. Moreover, once blended, the parsnips add a creamy consistency, without the cream! I found this recipe in the New York Times, but changed it up with the addition of ginger and a pinch of cayenne (which is completely optional), and made it my own. Enjoy!!


  • 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large leeks, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
  • 6 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups of vegetable broth


  1. Put olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add leeks and parsnips, and stir to coat. Add the 2 teaspoons of salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Let vegetables sizzle and cook, stirring frequently until nearly caramelized, but without browning, until softened, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Add bay leaf, turmeric, ginger, garlic, and cayenne, (if using), and stir to coat. Increase heat to high, add water or broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes more. Taste broth and adjust seasoning.
  4. With a blender or food processor, purée soup to a creamy consistency. (Small batches work best.)

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Lesley Wolman

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