Creamy Parsnip Soup with Pear and Walnuts


"I love that root vegetables are so rustic," says chef Marcus Samuelsson about this earthy, Indian-spiced soup. "I add pear and walnuts for sophistication and crunch." He says that if you can't find sunchokes (also called Jerusalem artichokes), simply use all parsnips instead. The recipe is adapted from his book Marcus Off DutySlideshow:  More Soup Recipes 

Creamy Parsnip Soup with Pear and Walnuts
Photo: © Paul Costello
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hr
8 to 10



  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 3/4 pounds parsnips, peeled and chopped (6 cups)

  • 3/4 pound sunchokes, peeled and chopped (2 cups)

  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 4 teaspoons garam masala

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

  • 4 cups water

  • 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • Pepper


  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1/2 tablespoon walnut oil

  • 1 small Bosc or d'Anjou pear, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

  • 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper


Make the Soup

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the parsnips, sunchokes and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly golden, 5 minutes. Stir in the garam masala, cumin, turmeric and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the water, chicken stock and cream. Bring to a simmer; cook until the vegetables are soft, 25 minutes.

  2. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until very smooth. Pour the soup into a clean saucepan and stir in the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the Topping

  1. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the walnuts and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until golden, 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the garlic and lemon juice. Scrape the mixture into a small bowl and toss with the walnut oil. Cool to room temperature, then stir in the pear, parsley and tarragon; season with salt and pepper. Serve the soup sprinkled with the topping.

Make Ahead

The soup can be refrigerated for 3 days and reheated gently before serving.

Suggested Pairing

Lively, pear-scented Oregon Pinot Gris.

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