Photo: Aya Brackett Photo by: Photo: Aya Brackett

Carrot and Parsnip Soup

Chef Aaron Woo of Natural Selection restaurant in Portland makes his soup with spices, apples, and Riesling to bring out the sweetness of the root vegetables. For complexity, Woo adds additional components such as a drizzle of cumin oil, some pickled celery, and a few chives and microgreens.

Sunset JANUARY 2013

  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6 (makes 2 qts.) (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
  • Total: 3 Hours, 15 Minutes


  • 3 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and sliced
  • 5 slices fresh ginger
  • 1 handful fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 handful fresh marjoram sprigs
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons juniper berries
  • 3 cups chopped peeled carrots
  • 2 1/4 cups chopped peeled parsnips
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fennel
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped tart apple
  • 3/4 cup chopped peeled russet potatoes
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
  • About 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup off-dry Riesling wine
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • About 1 cup fresh carrot juice
  • 6 tablespoons peppery, top-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • Toasted Cumin Oil
  • Pickled Celery
  • Thinly sliced chives
  • Microgreens* or 2 green onions, cut into 2-in.-long slivers


1. Assemble aromatics: Enclose ingredients in cheesecloth and tie with string.

2. Make soup base: Put aromatics bundle in a stockpot and add remaining soup base ingredients, including 1 tbsp. salt, but excluding broth, carrot juice, and olive oil.

3. Cover, bring to simmering over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and cook until apples are very soft, about 30 minutes. Add broth, return to a simmer, and continue cooking until potatoes are falling apart, about 2 hours.

4. Discard aromatics bundle. Purée soup in batches in a blender until silky smooth; pour into a large bowl as you go. Return soup to pot. Stir in enough carrot juice so soup is fairly thin but velvety. Just before serving, stir in olive oil.

5. Ladle soup into bowls and drizzle with cumin oil. Add a little pickled celery, and sprinkle with chives and microgreens. Season to taste with salt.

*Find at some specialty grocery stores.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 270
  • Calories from fat: 46%
  • Protein: 3g
  • Fat: 15g
  • Saturated fat: 2.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 36g
  • Fiber: 7.2g
  • Sodium: 1654mg
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg

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Carrot and Parsnip Soup Recipe