Parsnip Soup 02, with nutmeg and pan-fried cubed swede / rutabaga

Parsnip Soup, with nutmeg and pan-fried cubed swede/rutabaga or yellow turnip

Okay, so I lied. Unintentionally, when I mentioned that I would go with the second version of this soup within its post. Then I pondered, who on earth is going to view this Parsnip Soup unless those perusing my recipes index linked above. Blatant liar that I am I’m going with a new post. So there! Besides, there would be too many photos within that post itself as I do have several step-by-step photos for this one – when I find the energy to edit, that is. This is – by far – my favourite of the two. And so glad I managed to squeeze this one in before we have spring-like weather here – whenever than happens! This version has its sweetness pared down with soured cream, as it’s called here. That works for me as otherwise this would be verging on too sweet for my palette. And I just love the crunch and sweetness of the pan-fried swede instead of the usual croutons. Anyway, as this is the Spring Equinox that’s the other reason to go with a new post as I want to wish all of you a Happy Spring – can’t wait for flip-flop weather!

Parsnip Soup, with nutmeg and pan-fried cubed swede/rutabaga or yellow turnip


  • olive oil
  • 300g (10.58 oz) x parsnips – weight after prep, peeled, trimmed and cut into wedges
  • 1 or 100g (3.52 oz) x carrot – weight after prep, peeled, trimmed and cut into 3 or 4 pieces
  • 100g (3.52 oz) x onion – weight after prep, peeled, trimmed and quartered
  • 2 x celery stalks/ribs, washed, trimmed and cut into 6 or 8 pieces
  • 3 x garlic cloves, peeled, trimmed and kept whole
  • 1 x dried bay leaf, split
  • 500ml (1.05 US pt lqd) x water
  • 1 x organic vegetable stock cube
  • pinch x cayenne pepper
  • whole nutmeg, freshly grated before end of cooking time
  • sour cream, to serve
  • 1 x small swede/rutabaga, place the swede on its side and cut into a slice about 1cm or less than ½ inch in thickness, lay slice and cut into a square, then slice into batons, turn those and cut into cubes

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.


  • Put a large heavy-based saucepan on electric heat No 4 (out of 6) to begin with. Allow enough time for the pan to get hot before adding oil. Then add a glug of oil to the pan and place the parsnips in without overcrowding them. As they only need to be partially cooked get them to the stage where they’re beginning to turn golden on all sides.  Reduce heat if any signs of scorching happens. Take off heat and set aside.
  • In the meantime prepare the onion, celery, garlic and carrot and get those in a large heavy-based saucepan with a lid and pour in the water, add the bay leaf and stock cube. Put on heat No 4 and bring to a boil.  Simmer for about 15 minutes. Then, when parsnips are golden pour the stock into their pan. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat to No 2 and simmer until the parsnips are nicely soft (they really need to be very soft to purée.
  • Whilst the soup is simmering put a heavy-based pan with lid on heat No 2 for the swede (rutabaga/yellow turnip). Add a little oil and spoon in the cubes of swede. Put the lid on for the first 10 minutes of cooking, checking them for any signs of scorching. Turn each piece over to try and get them fairly evenly golden on all sides. Keep the lid off after about 15 minutes. When they’re nicely golden and soft when pierced with a fork take off heat, add the lid and keep them warm.
  • When the parsnips are ready take off heat and allow to cool slightly before blending or liquidising the soup. Remove the bay leaf pieces, onion, celery, garlic and carrot pieces, retaining only the bay leaf and garlic. Do mash the vegetables with the back of a serving spoon to extract as much liquid from those as possible.
  • When soup is cool enough pour into a blender and blitz until absolutely smooth. Rinse out the saucepan, add the bay leaf and garlic with a pinch of cayenne pepper, pour in the soup. At this stage I added several gratings of nutmeg, allowed that to infuse before tasting and then added more.
  • Serve with the cubed swede and soured cream with seasonings of both sea salt and black peppercorns.


Allowing enough time to get the parsnip batons nicely golden.

Love preparing stocks as they’re so easy to do and make such a difference to the overall taste.

Mashing the poached vegetables to extract as much stock and nutrients as possible with the back of a large serving spoon. Use a soup ladle or even a fork. The pulp that’s left in the metal colander is discarded.

All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Feed the Piglet:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny H Hepburn


  1. The soup: it has my name all over it. I adore the flavor profile. Bookmarking to try and the weather is cold cold cold despite being spring so it fits the bill. What a gorgeous plate by the way, the one with the wild flowers, is it vintage?


    • – Possibly. I’m so glad you noticed that little bon-bon dish as I picked that up last week for all of 50p. Awww, so spring-like. Have to use it, lots!
      – Be warned, the soup is on the sweetish side. I might have to develop a dip that would counteract that sweetness. Even the nutmeg, regardless of how good it tastes, doesn’t balance it. The sour cream helps.


    • This is the first time to use parsnips in a soup. Well, the other version that is. I just couldn’t bear to go along the lines of a curried parsnip soup, something I’ve never had before. I guess it’s no longer a popular dish as I never see it around. And yes, it looks like a long haul winter after all.


    • Totally agree with you about nutmeg. Oddly, I didn’t care for allspice the first time I made this. And this is a new vegetable for me to use in soups. Here, curried parsnip soup was the thing years ago. I’ve never had that and don’t fancy the idea of it at all!


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