Pear & Parsnip Soup

Prep Time:22 mins, Cook Time: 20 mins, Total Time: 42 mins

December 15, 2012


There’s been a frenzy of activity in the Chez Foti kitchen this last week, brought on by my sudden and slightly panicked realisation we will be ten for christmas. Which obviously is very wonderful but I’ve got my work cut out! And after a few trials this is the soup I’ve decided to kick off christmas day lunch with, using our lovely parsnips and the last of the pears from the garden. It’s quite a light, yet creamy soup flavoured with plenty of nutmeg and white pepper, and will be served with Parsnip Crisps (time permitting on the day!) and Mini Pear, Stilton & Shallot Tarts (blog coming soon!).

We’ve opted out of turkey for the main event this year and I’ve purchased a rather large piece of  imported British Beef instead (thanks to the lovely people at the Singing Frog Farm). The Roast Beef will be served with Yorkshire Puds, Chipolatas, Duck Fat Roasted Spuds, Roast Parsnips, Sprouts with Chestnuts, Roasted Pumpkin with Lardons and Lemon Butter Carrots. With lashings of Red Wine Gravy and Horseradish Sauce of course. As for the pud they’ll be my Great Granny’s Christmas Pudding, that my mum’s very kindly made this year and will be bringing over by special delivery. And for the christmas pud haters a Chocolate & Chestnut Bouche Noel (or Yule Log to you and me, but sounds a tad more sophisticated in French, made, photographed and now frozen and also coming to you in a blog very soon!). Oh I’m hungry just thinking about it. 10 days to go,  yikes!


The Good Stuff:

Onions, Parsnips, Pears

Great For:

Pre-Schoolers, Big Kids, Grown Ups, Lunch, Starters, Christmas Day, Making Ahead, Freezing


Serves 8 to 10

Special Equipment:

One very large saucepan or cooking pot, a hand blender or food processor

Pear & Parsnip Soup

Ingredients Prep Time:22 mins, Cook Time: 20 mins, Total Time: 42 mins

2 tablespoons olive oil

25g butter

1 very large onion, or 2 medium, diced

1 kilo parsnips, scrubbed and peeled

220g pears, peeled and cored

1 level teaspoon ground white pepper

1 level teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

2 bay leaves

2 liters good quality chicken or vegetable stock

5 heaped tablespoons half fat creme fraiche

A little milk for thinning (optional)

1) Heat the oil and butter in a very large pan on a gentle heat. Add the onions and saute gently for 10 minutes.

2) Meanwhile prep the parsnips. As mine are organic and homegrown I tend to leave the skins on but it’s probably best to peel them otherwise. Cut into 2 to 3 cm chunks. Throw the parsnips into the pan. Allow to cook for a further 10 minutes, regularly giving the pan a good stir so nothing catches.

3) Stir in the pears, white pepper, nutmeg and bay leaves. Then pour over the stock. Bring to a simmer. Allow to bubble away for 15 to 20 minutes or until the parsnips are very soft. Take off the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes.

4) Remove the bay leaves then blitz in a food processor or blender or with a stick blender until silky smooth. Stir in the creme fraiche until it’s perfectly incorporated. I like my soups around this thickness but you may wish to thin some more with a little extra milk.

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17 thoughts on “Pear & Parsnip Soup

  1. Ren Behan

    A lovely soup to start your Christmas feast with and it really does sound like a feast! The beef sounds wonderful too, as do the very special puds! Thank you for linking up to Karen and I for the last Simple and in Season of the year! X

    1. Chez Foti

      Oh I’m not normally this organised!. But with two small children who have a tendency of getting ill at the drop of a hat and a houseful of guests expected next weekend I’ve had to be for a change!

  2. Dominique

    I’m looking forward to read your recipe of “bûche de Noël” and mini pear, stilton and shallots tart!
    Your menu is fabulous and need a lot of work! Congratulations.
    And british beef is definitely far better than the french one…

  3. andreamynard

    Your soup looks great and very seasonal. Planning to have little bites of soda bread with smoked trout or gravlax and a horseradish creme fraiche or pickled cucumber before Christmas lunch but this looks lovely, must try over the holiday.

    1. Chez Foti

      Oh your christmas dinner entrees sounds amazing! Might just make some horseradish creme fraiche too to go with our smoked salmon on Christmas Eve, good idea!

  4. shacklefordlb

    Of all the veggies, the parsnip is my very least favourite. I just can’t get excited about it.

    Your festive food sounds fab – we’ve opted for duck, turkey and ham (not all on the same day)! We have our feasting over three days this year 🙂

  5. Choclette

    It all sounds wonderful. I love a good parsnip soup and was planning on making a curried parsnip and apple one tomorrow. Your Yule log looks rather splendid, I think I would have to have a piece of that as well as some of the Xmas pud. Hope you had a lovely time and Happy New Year.

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