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Roasted Garlic and Parsnip Soup with Sage Lemon Butter

Roasted Garlic and Parsnip Soup with Sage Lemon Butter

Mother Nature is having a good laugh, that’s for sure. One weekend it’ll be beautiful, a perfect 70 degrees and a periwinkle sky. Then, in what feels like a cruel trick, Monday comes along complete with rain, dreary skies, and even threats of snow flurries. I thought I left the whole springtime-snow thing back in Colorado. Guess I was wrong.

Needless to say, with bi-polar weather like this, soup season isn’t quite over yet.

I found this recipe on Pinterest, which has almost completely replaced food magazines in my weekly meal planning endeavors. This soup caught my eye immediately, despite the fact that it was, well, soup.

Try as I might, I’m just not a soup person. After years of being wholly unsatisfied by soup, I’ve realized that I just need something to chew. I have the same lacking feeling when I try to make a meal out of a fruit smoothie. Just not happening. Probably why you’ll never see me do a juice fast. 3 days with nothing to chew? No thank you.

This soup, however, was delightful. Paired with a drizzle of sage lemon butter (don’t skip it – it’s the best part), and some sliced focaccia bread, and I could start to understand why people love soup so much.

The sunny hue of this soup comes from the vegetable broth that we used (Trader Joe’s brand is clearly heavy on the carrots); the original calls for chicken broth, and as a result the soup is more beige than orange. Either way, the flavors are both mild and robust at the same time. Rich and creamy, and yet surprisingly light. You’d think that 3 whole heads of roasted garlic would be enough to keep the vampires away for days (let alone your spouse), but it’s not at all overpowering.

It’s perfect, no matter what the weather happens to be doing.

Roasted Garlic and Parsnip Soup with Sage Lemon Butter

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3 garlic heads, tops cut off to reveal cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, finely chopped
6 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
6 large parsnips (about 2 1/2 pounds), cores removed, coarsely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste

Sage Lemon Butter:
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold butter, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup (loosely packed) sage leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place garlic on a large square of foil, drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and wrap to enclose. Place on a baking sheet and roast until soft, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool. When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic cloves from skin and set aside. Discard skins.

Meanwhile, heat butter and remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; add onion and stir until translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add stock and parsnip pieces and bring to a boil; cover and simmer until parsnip is very tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add garlic cloves and cream and purée with a hand-held blender, or in batches in a countertop blender (be cautious blending hot liquids). When smooth, return to saucepan and season to taste with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and lemon juice; keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat butter in a frying pan over medium heat until foamy. Add sage leaves and fry until crisp (about 1 to 2 minutes ), then transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel plate lined plate. Add lemon juice to pan with butter and remove from heat.

Divide soup among bowls, and serve topped with crisp sage leaves and a drizzle of lemon butter.

Recipe from Gourmet Traveller.

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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  1. I’ve never made a soup or worked with parsnips before! This was a learning experience and I had a ton of fun. This is a delicious recipe I made for my family tonight. I’ll definitely be revisiting it in the future!

  2. I’d love to make this for a friend – she can’t do dairy – do you think subbing out coconut milk would work or would it impact the taste and texture too much?

  3. This was fantastic.  Even my boys ages 4 and 6 loved this.  For sure this is going in my recipe box.  Thank you for sharing.

  4. Deeeelicious!!!!  But even better if the parsnips are roasted first – it gives them a wonderful nutty flavor that can’t be achieved without this step.

  5. Omg one of the most amazing, delicate, delicious soups I’ve ever made, thank you so much for the inspiration

  6. I recently discovered how much I love parsnips, but I didn’t know how to enjoy them other than to roast them. This soup is a great idea! It’s been close to a month between the time you posted this and the time I was able to read it and comment, but Mother Nature is still being wonky in my parts. It was only in the 40s this morning, so it’s a perfect day for soup.

  7. I am so willing to try this based on the garlic alone! Beautiful shot.

  8. the sage lemon butter does sound like the best part…i hear you about the weather…come on spring…come on always nice weather!

  9. I am still torn between regular cookbooks and e-cookbooks. I use the electric version for the actual making part but I love the real copy to look through and browse on the couch.

  10. I love your photo. The soup looks so inviting, just ready to embrace you. The recipe sounds delicious.

  11. I like soup that I can dip bread in :) This looks perfect for that!

  12. This soup looks delicious (and beautiful). I think that sage lemon butter puts it over the top! Yum.

  13. Divine photo, I can just imagine the taste of this soup from that image :) looks delicious!

  14. It’s like if you were describing weather over here in San Francisco. It was the same here. And welcome to the club with Pinterest recipes :) Soup looks and sounds delicious.

  15. That looks and sounds very refreshing and spring time!

  16. I could devour bowls of this delish soup all day long!

  17. I do love soup….I rarely meet a soup I do not like and yours looks fantastic for these chilly Spring days.

  18. Soup is gorgeous!! And yes I totally agree about Pinterest! Can you say addiction lol

  19. This soup sounds so great! Such a good excuse to eat all the parsnips in the land. Er, so evidently I feel the need to make an excuse to eat parsnips? :)

  20. This recipe looks lovely!!

  21. This sounds amazing! You don’t see parsnips being used as much as I think they should be. This is definitely being added to by grocery list for the week :)

  22. I love parsnips and have never thought to use them in a soup. The earthiness of the parsnips and the roasted garlic sound like a great combination. Looks creamy and delicious!

  23. OMG! Looks rich…

  24. Yep. This recipe was just put into my weekly meal rotation for the month. I’m always pleased to see creative uses for the lowly parsnip, my favorite root vegetable. Hurray for the parsnip!


  25. It looks lovely :) And as I happen to looove soup and looking out of my window I can see small snow flakes (hello it is end of march?!) I will clearly try this one soon :D

  26. I can’t believe it’s still soup weather, but this does look quite delicious! Love the color, too.

  27. I love parsnips; paired with roasted garlic and sage, this is definitely something I’ll have to try!
    -Emily K.

  28. Parsnips are such a great root veggie and I bet this soup was perfect! I love the purple bowl, too!

  29. This sounds divine! Can’t wait to make it.

  30. Most gorgeous soup ever!

  31. so pretty! Pinned!

  32. This looks beautiful, Lindsay! That sage lemon butter sounds wonderful.

  33. This looks fantastic, and the combo of garlic, lemon, and sage is a hit in my house. Thanks!

  34. People have been posting about craving spring vegetables but I’m much more in line with a soup like this! parsnip and garlic go delightfully together-I’ve gotta make this, it’s been snowing in the UK the last 4 days too and no one has plowed!

  35. What a wonderful looking springtime soup! I actually just tried parsnip for the first time a couple months ago…love it!

  36. This soup look delicious! Oh, and it has been snowing for the past four day in CO! HELP!

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