Pureed Parsnip and Cardamom Soup with Caramelized Shallots

By • February 14, 2012 6 Comments

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Author Notes: Cardamom keeps sneaking its way into my recipes as of recent -- its unique versatility to play sweet or savory roles makes it a great spice to play with. Here it partners with the humble parsnip, the two complementing each other's spicy-sweet flavors. A simmer in a bath of almond milk and broth, followed by a quick whirl of the immersion blender, transforms the knobby root to a luxuriously smooth soup. Caramelized shallots add texture and round out the sweet flavor profile of the soup. alasully

Serves 4 to 6

  • 4 to 5 parsnips, around 1 1/2 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more to drizzle
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  1. Peel parsnips and remove tough woody core. Chop into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside.
  2. Halve a medium onion, peel it and cut roughly into sixths.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat; add onion, and saute until soft and brown, about 5 minutes. Add chopped parsnips to the pan and saute with the onion until parsnips begin to brown slightly.
  4. Add 2 cups vegetable broth and 1/2 cup almond milk, plus more as desired for creaminess. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and 2 teaspoons ground cardamom. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until parsnips are soft, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. When parsnips are soft, remove from heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender (or food processor / regular blender) until you reach a smooth consistency.
  6. Garnish with caramelized shallots. To prepare: thinly slice 2 shallots and saute with olive oil until soft; add 1 tsp maple syrup and cook until browned and caramelized.

More Great Recipes: Vegetables|Soups|Soup

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Comments (6) Questions (0)


11 months ago Susan Borowitz

Does the recipe call for one whole onion cut into sixths, one whole onion cut into twelfths or half an onion cut into sixths?


11 months ago stevemr

I read it as one cut into six parts.....but it doesn't matter, since once its cooked and softened, it all gets pureed. No need to cut it smaller.


11 months ago stevemr

This was tasty, but it was so thick I wouldn't really call it a soup. Even after diluting it with some additional vegetable broth and almond milk, it was still extremely thick. As is, it would make a good side dish, especially with the caramelized shallots. Did anyone else have issues with the thickness of the "soup"?


11 months ago Tessa Heller Vogel

Wow, I found the cardamom to be really really overpowering. I only used 1 teaspoon (maybe mine is powerful? Jar says Guatemalan cardamom?). I think it would have tasted great without any cardamom.


over 1 year ago alasully



over 1 year ago Brittany Austin

Could I use whole milk as a substitute for the almond milk?