If you have never tasted creamy parsnip and leek soup, you’re in for a delightful treat. This heartwarming soup combines the earthy sweetness of parsnips with the mild, onion-like flavor of leeks for a velvety smooth, and incredibly delicious dish in under 60 minutes.

White bowl of parsnip leek soup with soup spoon and napkin on white table surface.

Click the recipe link at the top of the page to go straight to the printable recipe card, which includes ingredient amounts, a detailed ingredient list, instructions, and recipe notes. You can also scroll through the post for helpful tips and step-by-step instructions. The recipe card is located at the bottom of the post.

If you have any leftover leeks try this easy chicken bouillabaisse, or use the extra parsnips in my popular apple chicken stew recipe.

A reason to love this version of parsnip and leek soup is that it’s made without any dairy products and still is a luscious creamy soup.

Whenever I use parsnips in a recipe, it brings back memories of my Mom and cooking up homestyle meals. This easy creamy parsnip soup can be enjoyed any time of the year. Parsnips and a winter/fall crop, and leeks are available year-round in most areas.

Ingredients Notes

Fresh Parsnips, leeks, celery olive oil, vegetable broth and seasonings measured out of white board.
  • Leeks contribute a unique and delicate flavor profile to soups, distinct from other onion family members. When cooked, leeks become tender and impart a mild, slightly sweet, and subtly onion-like taste to the soup. The flavor of leeks is more refined compared to regular onions, making them an excellent choice for enhancing the taste of various dishes, especially soups. The larger leek has a deeper, stronger flavor, and the smaller leek will have a milder flavor.
  • The flavor of Parsnips can be described as a combination of sweet, earthy, and nutty. The taste resembles carrots but has a sweeter and milder profile. The natural sugars in parsnips caramelize as they cook, intensifying their sweetness and adding depth to their flavor.

The Prep Process

Fresh leek partially sliced on cutting board with black handle knife.

Prep 1: Remove the dark green part of the leeks and the root, but leave some of the lighter green part. Cut in half lengthwise and rinse the layers. Slice crosswise very thinly.

Parsnips, garlic, and celery chopped on cutting board.

Prep 2: Peel and slice the parsnips less than ½ inch thick. Dice the celery and mince the garlic.

The Cooking Process

Sliced leeks in saucepan.

Step 1: Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the leeks.

Sliced stirred with with wooden spoon in saucepan.

Step 2: Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring regularly, until very soft.

Diced parsnips and seasoning in saucepan with wooden spoon.

Step 3: Add the parsnip, celery, garlic, thyme, and sage. Stir to distribute everything evenly.

Parsnip and leek soup ingredients simmering in saucepan with wooden spoon.

Step 4: Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in the vegetable broth. Cook for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are very soft.

Parsnip and leek soup Ingredients simmering in saucepan and starting to soften and cream.

Step 5: Remove from heat and add salt and pepper as needed to your taste preference.

Saucepan with creamy parsnip leek soup and wooden spoon.

Step 6: Use an immersion blender (or divide it into smaller portions and use a regular blender) to puree the soup until it is smooth.

Recipe Variations

  • Use olive oil instead of butter.
  • Add spices like ground cumin or curry powder while sautéing the leeks. These spices complement the parsnip’s sweetness and create an enticing flavor profile.
  • Apart from fresh chives or parsley, you can top your soup with toasted nuts, crispy fried shallots, or a drizzle of truffle oil for a touch of elegance.
  • You can use water if you don’t have vegetable or chicken broth on hand. However, remember that the soup’s depth of flavor might be slightly reduced, so consider adding a little extra seasoning or herbs to compensate.

Recipe Notes

  • To enhance the soup’s flavor, roast the parsnips and leeks before adding them to the pot. Toss the chopped vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast in 400°F the oven until they caramelize and turn golden brown. Then, proceed with the recipe as usual.
  • If you prefer a chunkier texture, you can reserve some of the cooked parsnips and leeks before pureeing the soup. Once the rest of the soup is smooth, add the reserved vegetables back in for added texture.
  • For a more complex flavor profile, consider adding a pinch of ground nutmeg or a splash of white wine during the cooking process. Nutmeg pairs beautifully with the sweetness of parsnips, while white wine provides a subtle tang and depth to the soup.

Seasonal Information

Leeks can be found in the grocer year round, however, the peak season is in fall when they will be priced the best.

Recipe FAQs

Can I make this soup in advance and reheat it later?

Absolutely! Creamy parsnip and leek soup will reheat well. Store soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently over low heat on the stovetop, stirring occasionally, until it’s warmed through.

Can I freeze this soup?

Yes, you can freeze this soup. Let cool completely, then transfer the soup to a freezer-safe container, and store it for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it on the stovetop.

Should I use the dark green part of the Leek?

The dark green part of the leek is usually discarded in recipes because they are tougher and more fibrous than the lighter green and white parts, which results in a less pleasant texture in dishes. The darker parts also have a stronger, more intense flavor that may overwhelm a recipe. However, these parts are not useless. They are great for adding flavor to homemade stocks or broths.

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White bowl of parsnip leek soup with soup spoon and napkin on white table surface.

Parsnip Leek Soup

The earthy sweetness of parsnips pairs perfectly with the subtle onion notes of leeks, creating a mouthwatering dish that's both smooth and delicious.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 194kcal
Author:Sydney Dawes
Cost: $1.37

Equipment

  • 1 Immersion Blender

Ingredients

  • 1 small leeks trimmed and sliced thin
  • ½ pound parsnips peeled and diced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth low sodium
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 stalks celery diced
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried sage
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Prepare: Remove the darkest portion of the leeks and the root. Cut in half lengthwise and rinse the layers. Slice crosswise very thinly.
  • Prepare: Peel and slice the parsnips less than ½ inch thick. Dice the celery and mince the garlic.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.
  • Add the leeks and cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring regularly, until very soft.
  • Add the parsnip, celery, garlic, thyme, and sage. Stir to evenly distribute everything.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in the vegetable broth. Cook for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are very soft.
  • Remove from heat and add salt and pepper. Use an immersion blender (or transfer small portions to a regular blender) to puree the soup until it is very smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste. If you don't have a blender you can also use potato masher.
  • Garnish with chopped chives or green onion to serve.

Notes

  • To enhance the soup’s flavor, roast the parsnips and leeks before adding them to the pot. Toss the chopped vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast in 400°F the oven until they caramelize and turn golden brown. Then, proceed with the recipe as usual.
  • If you prefer a chunkier texture, you can reserve some of the cooked parsnips and leeks before pureeing the soup. Once the rest of the soup is smooth, add the reserved vegetables back in for added texture.
  • Cut back on the sodium by reducing the vegetable broth and increasing the water, or use.
  • If you don’t have a blender you can use a potato masher, however, it will not be quit as creamy.
  • Can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days and frozen in individual portions for up to 1 month.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 881mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g
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