Parsnip and Collard Greens Soup

The nutty sweet flavor of the parsnip has a depth unattained by the humble potato, and it also acts as a perfect building block for a glorious soup.

(Photography by Kip Dawkins)


5 firm large parsnips, peeled
3 packets (9 oz.) of frozen collard greens or spinach
8 cups water
½ stick butter
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 level teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
1 bay leaf, dried or fresh

Cut off the bases of the parsnips where they are woody, and chop up in to small pieces. Melt the butter in a soup pot. Before the butter changes color, add garlic and onion and stir well. Do not brown.

Add the defrosted packets of collard greens, and the parsnip pieces, stirring well. Now pour in the 8 cups of water,1 to 2 cups more if you want your soup to be a little thinner. Add the bay leaf to the soup. When the soup comes to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until you can mash a piece of parsnip with the back of a wooden spoon.

Remove from the heat to let it cool, and remove the bay leaf from the soup. In small batches, put the soup through a blender, and blend well. Return the soup to the pot and place over low heat. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. When the seasoning is adjusted to your taste, turn the heat off. Serve with a swirl of plain yogurt.

For more about parsnip and collard greens soup, read our Selling Soup story.

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