Curried Parsnip and Coconut Soup

parsnip_and_coconut_soup“For some reason, parsnip seems to be one of those vegetables that people back away from in horror. I blame over-boiled school dinners of yore! Which is a shame, because when properly prepared, it really has the most magnificent flavours: nutty, sweet and earthy, all at once. This wonderful soup  is the perfect way to introduce parsnip to anyone who has yet to be convinced of its brilliance, if you’re already a fan of parsnip, you’re in for a treat!”  Jennifer Irvine, Founder of Balance Box

Serves 2
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian

You will need:

  • 1 tablespoon groundnut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 300g parsnip, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli flakes
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 100ml coconut milk
  • ½ bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cold water


  • Heat the oil in a medium non-stick pan, and lightly fry the seeds until they start to pop.
  • Add the parsnips, onion, celery, ginger, chilli flakes, turmeric, garam masala and 2 tablespoons of water. Place the lid on and cook until the onion and celery are soft – about 5 minutes.
  • Add the stock, coconut milk, bay leaf and thyme to the pan, cover, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, remove the lid and leave to simmer until all the vegetables are cooked – about 8 minutes.
  • Blend the soup until smooth, using a hand-held blender or by transferring to a food processor.

To Serve:

  • 1 teaspoon coriander, finely chopped
  • Ladle into warmed soup bowls, garnish with the coriander and serve immediately

Jennifer’s Tip:

As well as spices and coconut, parsnip goes fabulously with cream cheese. To make the most of this, I love to serve this soup with toasted rye bread spread with cream cheese.


For more delicious recipes like this, Jennifer Irvine’s book ‘The Balance Diet’ is available from Amazon.