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This chicken and parsnip soup is hearty and filling and warms you from your tummy to your toes on a cold evening.
I made this soup for the first time long ago when Mini Chef was about 5. He was so concerned that his schoolmates had lost teeth already and he still hadn’t. So when he found a wiggly tooth, he was ecstatic. He ran up to me saying, “I have a wiggly tooth!” with so much pride. I knew he’d need something a little softer and easier to eat for dinner, so I made this for him. It was perfect for the whole family. Hearty, satisfying, and just soft enough for a wiggly tooth.
Do You Have To Peel Parsnips?
Unlike carrots, parsnips change with age. If you have young parsnips, you can simply scrub them clean without peeling them. But older parsnips will need to be peeled. Also, with older parsnips, if the center is overly fibrous, you’ll want to cut that away as well.
How Do I Spice Up Bland Chicken Soup?
It often depends on the soup. If it’s a creamy soup, you can add something like yogurt to add a bit of acid, which will help intensify the flavors.
But if it’s a brothy soup, you’ll want to focus on herbs and even a bit of butter.
This particular recipe relies on chicken concentrate for its flavor. But if you don’t have any or don’t want to make any, there are suggestions below for other options to try.
How Do You Cut Parsnips For Soup?
You want all your parsnip pieces, no matter how you chop them, to be as uniform in size as possible for even cooking. Much like a white potato, they will fall apart if overcooked, or be too tough if undercooked. So you can cut them in half and slice them into equally-wide pieces for even cooking.
Do I Need To Cook My Chicken Before Putting It In Soup?
For this recipe, yes. If you are concerned about it becoming overcooked, you can add it in at the last minute or so just to warm it up. Not all soups require this, but for this one, it helps.
How Do You Keep Chicken Moist In Soup?
The trick here is most often the type of chicken you use. So here’s how to decide what cut of chicken to use in this recipe.
- Chicken breasts – Use these if you want to toss the chicken in at the very end just to warm it up.
- Chicken thighs – Use thighs if you want to throw the chicken in at the beginning.
Chicken breasts tend to be a tougher cut of chicken, particularly when cooked for longer times. For this reason, they are better suited to shorter cooking times, particularly if using them pre-cooked like this recipe calls for.
Chicken thighs tend to hold their moisture much better during longer cooking times. So if you want to throw everything in at the beginning, as the recipe suggests, you may want to use chicken thighs instead.
How Do You Know When Parsnips Are Done Cooking?
Parsnips are done cooking when you can easily stick a fork or knife through them. Think of a cooked carrot or boiled potato. It’s the same for parsnips.
What To Serve With Chicken And Parsnip Soup
Good choices for sides here are:
- A green salad
- Crusty garlic bread
- Rice (which you can mix in)
This soup is quite versatile. Consider these other additions or substitutions, as you wish.
- A few cloves garlic, chopped fine. If you are roasting/baking your chicken, you can also roast a garlic clove or two (or three or seven) along with it.
- Consider adding noodles for a more traditional chicken soup. It would be very similar to a chicken noodle soup with potato chunks added.
- Add any other vegetables you like. Carrots and celery are always a great choice for soups like this.
- Not a fan of parsnips? Try turnips or rutabaga instead.
- Shallots are always a nice addition.
- Other fresh herbs such as thyme, parsley, or a bay leaf add wonderful flavor too.
- To make life easier, purchase a roasted chicken at the store and see if you can find pre-cut parsnips.
About The Ingredients
Parsnips – about 1 very large parsnip or 2 small to medium parsnips, washed, peeled, and chopped
Brown mushrooms – You can also use white mushrooms. I just find that the brown ones tend to have a slightly richer flavor.
White onion – chopped. You can also use yellow onions instead.
Oil – I used olive oil, but any light-flavored oil will work here. I’ve also used coconut oil and safflower oil.
Chicken stock concentrate – see recipe link above. If you don’t have this, you can also use a chicken bouillon cube in 2 cups of water. However, finding a healthy version of bouillion can be difficult. So read the ingredients. You can also just use a really well-flavored stock. The point of this is simply to add flavor.
Chicken broth – low sodium, no sugar added.
Fresh rosemary – chopped and put into a tea ball or spice bag. You can also simply drop a full spring into the pot which makes it easy to remove.
Cooked, shredded chicken – It doesn’t matter how you cook it. It can even be leftover rotisserie chicken.
Salt and black pepper – to taste.
How To Make Chicken And Parsnip Soup
Prep all your ingredients.
In a large stockpot, sauté the parsnips, mushrooms, and onion in oil until the onions are translucent.
Add all other ingredients to the pot and gently boil (at a strong simmer) until everything is cooked through, particularly the parsnips. (About 30-40 minutes)
Season with salt and black pepper to taste and serve.
How To Store Chicken And Parsnip Soup
This will keep in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.
Freezing Chicken And Parsnip Soup
This can be frozen in a freezer-safe, airtight container for up to 4 months.
Reheating Chicken And Parsnip Soup
- From frozen – Thaw in the fridge overnight. Then reheat.
- From fridge – This can be warmed in the microwave or in a small pot on the stovetop.
Recipes Used In This Recipe
- Chicken stock concentrate – See substitutes above.
More Healthy Soups And Stews
Chicken And Parsnip Soup Recipe Card
Chicken and Parsnip Soup Recipe
- 1 large stockpot
- 3 cups chopped parsnips (about 1 very large parsnip – peeled first)
- 2 cups brown mushrooms
- 1½ cups white onion (chopped)
- 1 tbsp. oil
- 2 cups chicken stock concentrate (see recipe link above)
- 4 cups chicken broth (low sodium, no sugar added)
- 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary (chopped and put into a tea ball or spice bag)
- 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
- Prep all your ingredients.
- In a large stockpot, sauté the parsnips, mushrooms, and onion in oil until the onions are translucent.
- Add all other ingredients to the pot and gently boil (at a strong simmer) until everything is cooked through, particularly the parsnips. (About 30-40 minutes)
- Season with salt and black pepper to taste and serve.
Recipe from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted on 3/29/13.