Parsnip Soup

A good Fodmap soup, great flavour with no onion or garlic.

Baked parsnips have always been a favourite of mine, especially when sweet and caramelized for a roast, be it meat or a nut roast. Parsnips also make a delicious soup. The inclusion of the fennel in this soup provides an unexpected combination of flavours and lightens the soup. You can further enhance the subtle aniseed flavour with dill and/or ground fennel seeds.

As a stock I use fresh herbs; bay leaf, thyme and parsley and I added dill for this recipe. When making stock I do not generally add onion and garlic as these are often not tolerated for Fodmap diets, however, do use them if you do not have this restriction. Avoiding stock cubes is good policy for diet cooking because they have a high salt content and some ingredients may not be suitable, in particular wheat for Gluten Free.

If you are using the oven for other cooking, lightly roast your parsnips and fennel as the first step, it will develop the flavours. However, if you cook this soup in the more traditional way you will not be disappointed with the result.

Diets for which Parsnip Soup is suitable:

Dairy Free, Diabetic, Fodmap, Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Vegetarian and Vegan.


Preparation: 15 mins | Cooking time: 60 mins | Serves: 4

fresh herbs including 2 bay leaf and 3 sprigs dill, 3 sprigs thyme and parsley
500gm (16 oz) parsnip
500 gm (16 oz) fennel
2 sticks celery
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper, ground


BOIL herbs in 1 litre water for 30 minutes
PEEL parsnip and cut in large chunks.
CHOP fennel, removing the core (the fennel tops should be cooked and removed before blending).
SLICE celery.
HEAT oil in saucepan and sauté the parsnip, fennel and celery.
ADD vegetables to the stock and add water to cover the vegetables if needed.
BOIL then lower temperature to simmer until vegetables soft, approximately 30 minutes
REMOVE herbs, fennel seeds and fennel tops
BLEND till smooth and season as required.


– Garnish with chopped dill to add flavour and colour, or croutons (Gluten Free where appropriate) or toasted pumpkin seeds.
– Add a dollop of cream (not Dairy Free or Vegan), delicious with some blue cheese crumbled on top as serving (not Dairy Free or Vegan).
– A light meal with bread (Gluten Free bread for Fodmap and Gluten Free diets).


– Cook parsnip with onion and celery and 1/2 the quantity of potato in vegetable stock or with a combination of herbs. Puree and serve with a garnish and the flavours of orange zest and toasted fennel seeds (whole or ground). This variation is not suitable for Fodmap diet.
-Cook parsnip with onion and celery and 1/2 the quantity of potato in vegetable stock or with a combination of herbs. Puree and garnish with a tablespoon of yoghurt (diary, soya or lactose free as for diet) and slices of apple fried in olive oil. This variation is not suitable for Fodmap diet.

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