Parsnip and Potato Soup

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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6 slices bacon, cut into thirds

2 tablespoons butter, plus more to serve 

2 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 1 1/4 pounds) 

4 cloves garlic, chopped 

3 to 4 large or 6 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped (about 3 cups) 

1 onion, chopped 

Black pepper 

About 1/8 teaspoon grated or freshly grated nutmeg 

1 bundle fresh parsley, tied with string 

4 cups chicken stock, Poached Chicken recipe follows


1 cup cream 

Chives, chopped or snipped, for garnish 

Sourdough rolls or English muffins, toasted and buttered, for serving

Poached Chicken:

1 small chicken (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)

2 bay leaves 

2 cloves garlic, crushed 

A few ribs celery from heart, coarsely chopped 

A few sprigs parsley with stems 

1 carrot, coarsely chopped 

1 onion, quartered 

Salt and peppercorns 

Salt and peppercorns


  1. Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and render until crisp. Remove the bacon, finely chop and reserve for later use. Spoon off all but a few tablespoons of the smoky drippings. Melt the butter into the drippings and reduce the heat a bit. Add the potatoes and stir to coat. Add the garlic, parsnips, onions, some black pepper and nutmeg. Add the parsley, then partially cover the pot and cook to soften, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally; the color of the veg should be light golden. Remove the parsley. Puree the vegetables with the stock (in batches if necessary) in a food processor or blender, or add the stock to the soup pot and use an immersion blender. Stir in the reserved bacon bits then season the soup with salt.
  2. Cool the soup and store for a make-ahead meal. Reheat over medium-high heat and add in the cream. Serve in shallow bowls with chives to garnish, and buttered rolls to dunk.

Poached Chicken:

  1. Place the chicken in a pot over a bed of bay leaves, garlic, celery, parsley, carrots and onions. Sprinkle with salt and fill the pot with water to cover the chicken. Sprinkle in a few peppercorns. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook 45 minutes, turning occasionally. Turn off the heat and cool the chicken in the broth. Separate the meat from the bones and skin. Reserve the meat and discard the bones and skin. Strain the stock.

Cook’s Note

You can make this meal as a stand-alone with store-bought stock, or you can make the Poached Chicken if you will use the meat in other meals this week.

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