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Carrot-Parsnip Soup: An Irish Dish to Keep Out the Cold


Published November 15, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated December 2, 2022 at 8:02 p.m.

Carrot-Parsnip Soup - ANDY BRUMBAUGH
  • Andy Brumbaugh
  • Carrot-Parsnip Soup

In April, my kids and I went on an amazing trip to Ireland with my mother. We packed a lot into our 10-day visit, including historical sites, natural beauty and lovely culture. At nearly every place we ate, my 16-year-old son joyfully ordered the soup of the day.

Every soup he ordered was accompanied by hearty Irish brown bread, which he slathered with delicious Irish butter. Though all the soups were smooth and puréed, there was a lot of variety in flavor.

Just for kicks, he compiled a ranking of the nine or 10 different soups that he tried. His least favorite was potato-leek soup, because he didn't care for the leeks. In the middle of the pack were a few variations of roasted vegetable soup. But the one that stood far above the rest was a carrot-parsnip soup from a charming restaurant called the Lemon Leaf Café in Kinsale, a delightful town outside Cork on the southern shore of the country.

I decided to try to re-create it for him — adding a little coriander because his second-favorite soup was a carrot-coriander variety. He declared my version delicious and asked for the leftovers for lunch the next day.

This is an easy soup to whip up, and it's sure to be a crowd-pleaser. It would make a perfect cold-weather meal. Or, if you're like my son, you might just want this soup in any season.

  • Andy Brumbaugh


  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots
  • 1 pound parsnips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter (preferably Irish butter, such as Kerrygold)
  • 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • Zest of one orange
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Wash carrots and parsnips and cut into roughly 1-inch chunks (no need to peel them).
  3. Coat carrots and parsnips with olive oil and roast for 40 minutes or until they are soft.
  4. Melt butter in a large pot. Add coriander seeds and sauté 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat.
  5. Chop onion finely, then add to pan and sauté for about 5 minutes, until translucent and soft.
  6. Add roasted carrots and parsnips to the pan. Cover with broth and bring to a boil. Add orange zest and red wine vinegar. Cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. Stir in cream, then purée with an immersion blender. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can purée in batches in a regular blender, but be careful that the hot soup doesn't splash.
  8. Salt to taste. Serve hot, preferably with a slice of Irish brown bread and Irish butter.