If you’ve never cooked with parsnips, don’t wait another minute; they are amazing. Try them roasted, sautéed, as a substitute for mashed potatoes—or in this recipe, a perfect autumn soup that’s so delicious you’ll want to lick the bowl clean. Add oysters and bacon and what’s not to love?


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 pounds parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 green apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
  • 3 Pink Lady apples or Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
  • 3 quarts low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 4 thick-cut bacon slices
  • 8 small or medium fresh oysters, shucked
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Smoked olive oil, for garnish


Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook without letting them brown until they are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the parsnips and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Add the apples and cook for another 10 minutes; the apple-parsnip mixture should resemble a compote at this point. Set aside 1 cup of the apple-parsnip mixture then add the broth and 2 tablespoons salt. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, add the cream, and cook until the parsnips are very soft. Puree the soup in a blender, working in batches, until smooth and creamy. (Be careful not to overfill the blender as the hot soup will expand as you puree it.)

Heat 3 inches of vegetable oil in a deep saucepan to 350°F over medium-high heat, Cut the bacon slices in half crosswise, then wrap each oyster in a bacon strip, pressing the ends to secure. Roll the wrapped oysters in the cornmeal. Carefully lower the oysters into the hot oil and fry until they are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and immediately sprinkle with salt and pepper.

To serve, mound a heaping tablespoon of the reserved apple-parsnip mixture in the middle of each shallow soup bowl, and top with a fried oyster. Carefully pour more soup around the oyster, and garnish with thyme leaves and a drizzle of smoked olive oil.