Maple Butternut Squash and Parsnip Soup

I was going to do a “top 11 of 2011” post, but now that we’re a couple of days into January 2012, I’m thinking you’ve probably read your fill of those and are ready to move on. I was also thinking about sharing some of my goals for 2012, but I fear you’d find them yawn-worthy.

So I’ve got some soup instead.

squash and parsnip soup

I made this silky Butternut Squash and Parsnip Soup for our Thanksgiving dinner, and it garnered rave reviews from everyone at the table. The accolades that meant the most came from my 9 year old daughter- she said it was “one of her most favorite soups ever”- so I knew I’d be making it again. And I did…a few times this winter so far.

This soup is adapted from the Brilliant Butternut Bisque in From the Cook’s Garden: Recipes for Cooks Who Like to Garden, Gardeners Who Like to Cook, and Everyone Who Wishes They Had a Garden. The book is a favorite of mine, and it did not disappoint here. The bones of my recipe are similar to those in the book, but I did make a couple of changes like using parsnips in place of carrots. I also lightened it quite a bit by replacing most of the half-and-half with homemade stock, then added back in a smaller amount of cream.

It occurs to me as I write this that some folks might balk at the fact that this soup contains heavy cream. Cream? On a healthy recipes blog? Isn’t that too decadent? Especially for early January, when our meals are “supposed to be” austere?

Please don’t be put off by adding the organic cream or coconut milk. Besides adding richness to certain dishes, these good quality sources of fat are essential for helping your body absorb the fat-soluble nutrients in vegetables like winter squash, carrots, and parsnips.

So this soup is not just comforting and delicious, it’s nutrient-dense. And it’s always been my goal to bring you recipes that are all of those things in just about every post, early January or not :)

May you be nourished and satisfied today…and all year long.

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maple butternut squash soup

End of 2011/Beginning of 2012 posts from other blogs that I love:

Pumpkin Lasagna from Cake Duchess
I Want to Matter from Salty Seattle
Going Quiet from Gluten-Free Girl
Wellness Goals for 2012 from Daily Bites Blog
New Year from Nicole Franzen
Looking Back, Looking Forward from Merry Gourmet
Food For Thought from Sass and Veracity
My Resolutions for 2012 from Spain in Iowa

squash and parsnip soup
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Recipe for Maple Butternut Squash and Parsnip Soup

Choosing organic ingredients ensures your soup will be the healthiest it can be.


  • *2 tablespoons butter
  • *2 tablespoons olive oil
  • *2 leeks bottom parts only, cleaned well and coarsely chopped
  • *2 fat garlic cloves peeled and minced
  • *about 6 cups peeled and seeded butternut squash cut into 1-2 inch cubes
  • *2 large parsnips peeled and coarsely chopped (or use carrots)
  • *1 cup dry white wine ex. Chardonnay
  • *6-8 cups chicken or turkey stock preferably homemade (or use vegetable stock or water or a combination of stock and water)
  • *1/2 cup cream or whole not "lite" coconut milk
  • *1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • *Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  • 1. Heat butter and oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, for a few minutes.
  • 2. Add squash and parsnips and cook for another few minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Cook until it has all but evaporated, 8-10 minutes.
  • 3. Add the stock and/or water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30- 40 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft. Remove from heat.
  • 4. Purée the soup using an immersion blender or, if you do not have an immersion blender, allow soup to cool a bit before transferring it in batches to process in a blender or food processor. Return puréed soup to the pot and add cream or coconut milk and maple syrup. Heat over low heat until warmed through, adding more cream or stock, if necessary, to achieve the desired consistency.
  • 5. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.

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27 thoughts on “Maple Butternut Squash and Parsnip Soup”

  1. Pingback: Spiced Butternut Squash Soup with Pancetta and Fried Onions
  2. Hi, sounds yummy….I love homemade soup..Just not chicken noodle. I am so going to make this. I just finished making vegan carrot soup and I tell you it is dee-double-ish.LOL…. I’m sure this will be dee-double-ish as well. I going to whole Food this weekend and I will be making it Saturday. Can’t wait. Anyways…I’m trying to figure out the points in it, I’m on weight watchers need to count the points. thanks so much for sharing.

  3. Love the addition of parsnips in your butternut squash soup. And the maple syrup! Having made soup with just the butternut squash I will be trying your recipe as soon as our winter returns. It has been in the high sixties and was seventy one the other day!

  4. This soup look so lovely :) But I’m also curious where you got your bowl!! It’s perfectly beautiful.
    I will certainly be making this very soon Mmmm

  5. Pingback: Friday Favorites – Episode 118 | my kitchen addiction
  6. This soup sounds wonderful. After a childhood (and many years of adulthood) trying to avoid parsnips, I have discovered how good they really are. I haven’t tried them in soup yet, but I think this is a perfect pairing, butternut squash and parsnips. I have discovered that parsnips are good in baked goods as well.


  7. Simply amazing. I love everything in this recipe, including the cream. Agreed! Can’t wait to try it. I’ve made a similar soup using buttercup squash..slightly sweeter and also delicious (although not as easy to cut).

  8. Thank you for linking to my lasagne, Winnie. Your soup is amazing and I think it would be wonderful with coconut milk. Happy New Year:)xo

  9. i absolutely LOVE that you added cream. i truly believe that being healthy means EVERYTHING in moderation! love love love.

  10. This soup looks wonderful. Squash soup with coconut milk is one of my favorite winter soup bases – you can flavor it so many ways. I love the addition of parsnip!

  11. I love your approach to eating and cooking… And, I love the fact that you use heavy cream. This soup looks comforting and delicious… Perfect for a cold winter night!

  12. This looks fantastic. You are so right about healthy fats. I have recently added lots of bone broths to my diet and full fats such as whole milk yogurt, cream (both grass-fed) as well as full fat coconut milk. I feel so much better – these are so nourishing. Thanks for pointing this out.

  13. Beautiful way to begin 2012 – love everything about this recipe. We enjoy soup all year long, which is a good thing since it will hit 80 here today and soup is on the menu!