Oh yes. Root parsley, with three exclamation points. I’ve just cooked with this root vegetable for the first time ever, and I’m that excited! Why oh why have I not tried this delicious thing before?
A few weeks ago someone I follow on IG published their parsley root soup recipe, and suddenly it dawned on me that I have no idea how root parsley tastes. How is this possible – I’m a self proclaimed veggie lover! Could it be that I’ve been … prejudiced? I mean, I do like parsley and use it a lot, but it’s not my all time favorite herb out there. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why, but for some reason parsley root just doesn’t sound that appealing to me! Or it didn’t. Until now! Root parsley is very delicious, and so is the creamy parsley root soup I made with it!
Parsley root – root parsley
As the name suggests, root parsley and parsley are very much related to each other. There is apparently three types of parsley: the curly leaved variety (which I call retro parsley), the flat leaf parsley and then the root parsley. The leaves of the root parsley can be used like the other parsleys, but the curly and flat leaf parsley don’t grow such an impressive root!
Parsley root looks an awfully lot like parsnips. It tastes very much like carrots to me, with a hint of celeriac, parsley and parsnips. The flavor is earthy, aromatic and fresh, and it’s delicious eaten raw! It has a subtle sweetness akin to carrots. Like most root veggies, parsley root is excellent in slow simmered stews, soups and casseroles, or mixed in to a tray of oven roasted veggies! I can imagine it being delicious also mixed in with mashed potatoes, or as a gratin, or as chips! (I’m getting hungry hear… time to go out, buy some more and start experimenting!)
The season for Finnish parsley root starts in September, and they are readily available here all through winter, until March. I’ve read that root parsley can be a bit tricky to store – it needs to be stored near +2°C and should be wrapped well to avoid it getting wilted. Mine weren’t hanging around in the fridge for very long though!
Parsley root soup
I peeled my first ever parsley roots to a creamy pureed soup based on one of my all time favorites: vichyssoise! I pureed the parsely root with starchy potatoes, leeks, onion and oat cream! The resulting creamy and luscious parsley root soup was served with a mixture of toasted seeds and flakey sea salt. Next time I’m thinking I’ll serve it with everything seasoning… or maybe even dukkah! The soup was so delicious that I was drawn to the parsley root aisle again on the next trip to the supermarket.
If you’ve never had root parsley, maybe you should give it a chance too?
Creamy parsley root soup
- Immersion blender
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 400 g root parsley
- 300 g starchy potato
- 100 g leek (the light part)
- 1 yellow onion (medium sized)
- 4-6 cloves garlic
- 1 l vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 dl oat cream
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- salt + freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)
- toasted seeds or nuts (to taste)
- croutons (to taste)
- extra virgin olive oil (to taste)
- chives / spring onions (finely minced)
- dukkah / everything seasoning (to taste)
- Peel and roughly chop the root veggies. Cut the leek in half lenghtwise and wash well (there may be some dirt hiding in between the layers). Chop the leek up in about 5 mm slices. Peel and mince the onion and garlic.
- Heat the oil up in a large pot and sautée the onion on medium heat until it's translucent. Add in the garlic and leek, and keep cooking until they soften up a bit. Add in the root veggies, veggie broth, thyme and bay leaves.
- Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Cover the pot up with a lid slightly ajar and let it simmer until the root vegetables are soft.
- Remove the bay leaves and add in the oat cream. Blend the soup until it's become a velvety puree. Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Ladle the soup to 2-4 bowls and garnish with toasted seeds/nuts and/or croutons and drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle some finely chopped chives or spring onions on top and serve!
Ps. Like vichyssoise, this creamy parsley root soup is also delicious served cold! (Not that I’d serve it cold in the middle of winter though… but maybe you’re reading this in the summer!)