Parsnip Soup with Leeks

This beautiful vivid green parsnip soup with leeks recipe is a delicious side or main dish. It’s made with sautéed leeks, simmered with parsnips and stock, and blended to a creamy puree.

Parsnip Parsley Soup
Elise Bauer

Green is the color of Ireland, which you understand immediately if you've ever been there or even flown over it.

Looking over the land from several thousand feet up, one cannot but be struck by the patchwork of vivid shades of green below. Or driving through the countryside, especially in Western Ireland, the hills practically glow when the sun peeks through breaks in the clouds.

Parsnip Parsley Soup
Elise Bauer

We've been experimenting with parsnips lately, and on a whim tossed a large bunch of chopped parsley into a simmering pot of parsnip soup. Parsnips are naturally sweet, as are leeks, which are also part of this soup.

The crisp bitter of the parsley delivers contrast and balance to what might otherwise taste a little too one-dimensional.

And the color! Such a beautiful, vibrant green. Perfect for St. Patrick's Day, and a celebration of all things Irish.

Breads to Serve With Parsnip Leek Soup

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Parsnip Soup with Leeks

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 6 servings

Parsnips can sometimes have tough, fibrous cores, especially if they are late in the season. If you find the cores to be especially tough when you are cutting your parsnips, cut them out and discard.


  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 3 leeks, white and pale green parts only, sliced lengthwise, cleaned, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch slices (about 3 cups of sliced leeks)

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds parsnips, peeled and chopped

  • 2 strips lemon zest, 1 x 2 inches each

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 4 cups chicken stock (use vegetable stock for vegetarian option)

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 cups finely chopped fresh parsley (reserve a little for garnish)

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Cook the leeks in butter:

    Heat butter in a 4 to 6 quart pot on medium heat. Add the chopped leeks, toss to coat with the butter. When the leeks are heated enough so they begin to sizzle in the pan, lower the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook until soft, but don't let the leeks brown.

    Elise Bauer
  2. Add the parsnips, oil, salt, stock, water, and zest:

    Add the parsnips and olive oil, and toss to coat. Sprinkle on the salt. Add the stock and water. Add the strips of lemon zest.

    Bring to a boil and reduce to a low simmer. Cover and cook until the parsnips are completely tender, at least 30 minutes.

    Elise Bauer
  3. Remove the lemon zest and add parsley. Purée:

    After removing the zest and adding the parsley, purée by using an immersion blender or by working in batches with a stand-up blender. If using a standing blender, fill the bowl no more than halfway, hold the cover on the blender bowl, and start blending at the lowest speed. Return the puréed soup to the pot.

  4. Stir in the lemon juice and season:

    Stir in lemon juice and season with salt, if needed.

    Garnish with freshly ground black pepper, a little olive oil, and chopped parsley or chives.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
217 Calories
10g Fat
32g Carbs
4g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 217
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 12%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 827mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 12%
Dietary Fiber 7g 24%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 50mg 249%
Calcium 103mg 8%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 751mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.