Mrs Beeton’s Parsnip Soup with a Twist

At work we like to talk (a lot!) and a large percentage of the time its about food which led to ‘soup talk’ and I realised I’d never made Parsnip Soup.  Hunting through my umpteen cook books, I stumbled across a recipe in one of my old Mrs Beeton cook books. And if it was good enough for Isabella Mary Beeton, its good enough for me.  So here it goes:


  • 25g butter
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 450g parsnips – chopped, I found 2 big ones worked
  • 1 litre chicken stock or you can use vegetable stock – I use Knor stock cubes
  • 150ml single cream
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Dash of cumin – this is the twist which Mrs B doesn’t include


  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the chopped onion and peeled/chopped parsnips, and cook over a gentle heat for about 10 minutes, turning frequently to coat them in butter.
  • Add the chicken stock, salt, pepper and dash of cumin seasoning to taste.  Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until the parsnips are very soft.
  • Puree the soup in a blender/food processor.  Add back into the pan, reheat to just below boiling point then stir in most of the cream reserving approx 2 teaspoons for the garnish.
  • You can add pine nuts but I didn’t – here’s what to do if you wish to: spread out the pine nuts in a grill pan and toast them under a hot grill until golden. Ladle the soup into bowls and top each portion with a swirl of cream and sprinkling of toasted pine nuts.
  • I ended up adding parsley as my garnish and served with Irish soda bread and it tasted scrummy. 

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