I don’t know about you, but I’m beat after all the cooking I did during the holidays. After all that craziness, all I want is something simple and nutritious like this carrot and parsnip soup. It gets a bit of spice and smokiness from some chipotle chiles, and it’s guaranteed to become your go-to soup during the winter.
It’s also vegan, gluten-free, and freezes well. I like to make a big batch right after the holidays and have it for lunch whenever I’m not in the mood for cooking.
The Flavors in This Soup
I’m lucky enough to live in an area full of small farms that grow outstanding produce, so when I found myself with two beautiful bunches of locally-grown carrots, I couldn’t resist putting them in something that would highlight their flavor.
Carrots are naturally sweet, so I wanted something that would complement them without overpowering them. Parsnips are a wonderful root vegetable that tastes something like a cross between an apple and a potato. They are amazing roasted on their own or in soups like this one because they add a very subtle hint of flavor.
To balance out the sweetness in the carrots and the parsnips, I added some chipotle chiles in adobo. Chipotles in adobo are rippened jalapeños that have been preserved in a wonderful mixture of seasonings. They are smoky, a tiny bit spicy, and one of my favorite things to use when I want to add a punch of flavor.
Some Ideas for Toppings
I started buying crispy chickpeas flavored with all sorts of things at my local supermarket, and now I’m addicted. They are a great snack, but I also use them to top salads or soups because they add some much needed texture.
I also drizzled my soup with some extra virgin olive oil, but there are many other combinations that you can try. I also love topping this soup with a dollop of sour cream or with some vegan pesto.
Smoky Carrot and Parsnip Soup
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 small cloves of garlic minced
- 2 cups yellow onion chopped
- 2 cups of carrots chopped into ¼ inch chunks
- 2½ cups of parsnip peeled and chopped into ½ inch chunks
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo chopped
- 4 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Store-bought or homemade crispy chickpeas to garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, 5-8 min. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 sec.
- Add the carrots, parsnip, chipotle chile, thyme, and broth and mix to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 25-30 min or until you can easily pierce a piece of carrot with a fork.
- Remove the thyme sprigs with thongs and set the soup aside to cool for 10 min.
- Working in batches, add the soup to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. You could also use an immersion blender for this.
- Transfer the soup back to the pot and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve topped with crispy chickpeas and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
- This carrot and parsnip soup can be made ahead of time and stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- You can also freeze it for 4-6 months.
Here are other easy meals for when you don’t feel like cooking:
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