Roasted garlic parsnip soup with brown butter walnuts & dates – a creamy, extremely flavorful soup to make all winter long. The soup is full of sweet roasted garlic, earthy parsnip, caramelized onion, bay leaf, and fresh thyme flavor. It’s really simple to make, has such a rich aroma, and made even better with a toasty brown butter drizzle, crunchy walnuts, and sticky dates.
Oh, this soup! The only word I can think of to describe it is absolutely divine. I first shared this recipe back in 2016. It was one of the first soups I ever created for the site. After scrolling through the archives and stumbling upon it, I knew I had to re-make it.
It’s such a wonderful winter soup, with parsnips of course being the star ingredient. If you don’t cook with parsnips often (or at all), hopefully this soup will convince you to add them to your repertoire.
They’re sweet, earthy, and have a really unique distinguished taste. They also make for the creamiest soup.
roasted garlic parsnip soup – the details
You’ll start by roasting the garlic. The process is simple, and the result is soft, golden, slightly sweet, intensely flavored garlic. I added two whole heads of roasted garlic to this recipe. It complements the parsnips so well. And trust me, it won’t overpower the soup. After being roasted, the garlic loses its raw astringency.
The rest of the ingredients in the soup are really, really simple so that the garlic and parsnip flavors can shine – onion, apple cider vinegar for a little tang, chicken stock, bay leaves, and fresh thyme.
It’s finished off with a little cream to give it a really luxurious feel.
Something I added that wasn’t in my initial recipe is the brown butter walnut & date topping. This was a last minute addition, and now I cannot imagine this soup without it. The nutty, toasted butter, plus the crunch of the walnuts, and the sweetness/chew of the dates…it is SO delicious.
It’s a topping that’s very much worth it to make. Especially if you’re making this around the holidays, it’ll take the soup from being good to *very special*. Add a sprinkle of chives as the finishing touch and you’re good to go!Print
Roasted Garlic Parsnip Soup with Brown Butter Walnuts & Dates
extra creamy roasted garlic parsnip soup with a brown butter walnut & date topping
yield: 4 large bowls or 6 smaller cups of soup
- 2 heads of garlic, plus 4 cloves
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus a drizzle
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- kosher salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ lbs parsnips, peeled + cubed ½”
- 1 qt + 3 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 small handful fresh thyme, tied in kitchen twine
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 6 tbsp butter, cubed
- ¾ cup walnuts
- ¼ cup chopped dates
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
- To roast the garlic (this can be done ahead of time) – preheat the oven to 400°F. Trim the top off of the head of garlic, leaving the root intact and exposing the tops of the garlic cloves. Place the garlic, cut-side up onto a piece of foil. Drizzle with olive oil. Fold the foil up and loosely pinch at the top. Roast for 1 hour. Cool slightly. Squeeze the head to pop the garlic cloves out.
- Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onions. Cook for about 10 minutes or so, stirring often, until browned and tender. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
- Stir in the apple cider vinegar. Cook for another minute. Add the parsnips and roasted garlic. Stir well, and then add the stock, bay leaves, and thyme. Season with salt and black pepper. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove the bay and thyme. Stir in the heavy cream. Working in batches, ladle the soup into a blender and blend until smooth, at least 60 seconds. Season to taste.
- For the topping, thinly slice the remaining 4 garlic cloves paper thin. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and let it melt. Add the garlic in an even layer. Allow the garlic to toast as the butter browns (watch carefully so neither burns). Turn the heat to low. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the garlic to a plate lined with paper towels. Stir in the walnuts and dates. Toast for about 2 minutes.
- Ladle the soup into bowls. Spoon the walnuts and dates onto the soup. Drizzle the brown butter over top. Finish with a sprinkle of chives and black pepper.