Parsnip pear soup is sweet and savory, creamy without the cream, and a nutritious and delicious addition to a fall or winter meal. Garnish with tart cranberry coulis for a pop of color and festivity.
I love soup. I eat soup all year round, even on 90 degree days during the summer. And I’m not just talking about cold soups like gazpacho, though I’m a fan of that too. What I really love is a hot bowl of soup that warms me up from the inside out.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a hearty vegetable soup, brothy chicken soup, chunky chili, or a smooth pureed soup – I’ll eat them all. I seriously could eat soup every single day, that’s how much I love it. Do you agree? If so, you definitely want to check out this creamy parsnip pear soup!
This recipe has been waiting in the wings to be made and posted for quite a while. Back in September when I was at the Stone Barns Harvest Festival there was a sample of a parsnip pear smoothie and I remember telling my husband and the friends we were with that I had thought about this flavor combination and had the idea to make a soup with it. It was one of many recipes on my to-make list, and I finally got my act together just in time for National Pear Month! (In case you missed the memo, that’s another food holiday we celebrate in December.)
Like many of my favorite soups, this Creamy Parsnip Pear Soup is a velvety, creamy puree without any cream, making it the perfect dairy-free appetizer or main dish for those who follow a vegan diet, have a dairy allergy or intolerance, or keep Kosher (like we do) and want to serve it at a meat meal.
And while some creamy soups add bread for heft if they omit the cream, this parsnip pear soup is completely gluten-free. Similar to the way the roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes are creamy on their own in my Roasted Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup, the creaminess here comes solely from the starchiness of the parsnips.
Since parsnips and pears are naturally sweet, this creamy parsnip pear soup provides you with the sweet and savory flavor combo, which I love. There are an additional two tablespoons of maple syrup in the soup to add a depth of flavor and bring out the natural sweetness that’s already there, while fresh thyme adds a subtle earthy flavor, which works well with the parsnip.
This soup recipe is relatively easy to whip up and the result is a nutritious and delicious bowl of soup that will satisfy your family and impress your guests. My girls were amazed when I told them about this soup. Pears in soup?! That was a new one for them and probably will be for some guests to your home too!
The cranberry coulis drizzled on top of this soup is optional, but I highly recommend it. It’s made the same way you make cranberry sauce, except that it needs to be strained, which is a bit tedious but well worth it in my opinion. The coulis is very low in sugar (only 1/4 cup per 1 cup of cranberries) so it’s still quite tart, which provides a nice balance to the sweetness of the soup.
Of course since cranberries are a popular ingredient on all holiday menus this time of year, the coulis is a perfect addition for an upcoming holiday or New Year’s party. In fact, when I make this parsnip pear soup for a party, I like to serve it in small tasting cups with demitasse spoons – perfect for everyone to have just a taste and save room for the rest of the hors d’oeuvres on your menu!
Do you enjoy soup all year long?
Have you ever added pears to soup?
Share your responses with me in the comments below!
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