Spiced Parsnip Soup

After Christmas, or whenever you have a freezer full of stock, try my parsnip soup. It is not the same as Jane Grigson’s excellent, and much copied, curried parsnip soup, but uses the subtle and warming ‘English’ spices – nutmeg, mace, clove and cinnamon. The soup is particularly good made with ham stock.


  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 25 g (1 oz) butter or olive oil
  • 3 large parsnips, peeled and diced
  • ¼-½ teaspoon each of nutmeg, cinnamon, mace and cloves
  • 1.5 litres ( pints) stock salt
  • pepper
  • cream, chopped parsley or flat parsley leaves – for garnish


Gently fry the onion in the fat until golden. Stir in the parsnips, and add the spices. Cook for a few minutes before adding the stock, and then simmer until the vegetables are tender.

Sieve or blend until smooth. Put back in the saucepan, bring to the boil, and season to taste.

Pour into hot soup bowls, and decorate before serving. A dash of fresh orange juice and a little grated zest, added as you bring the soup back to the boil, make a nice touch.