This Hokkaido pumpkin soup with parsnip is a great healthy vegetable soup to make during winter. It's a great alternative to the typical carrot and parsnip soup as it is made with squash and a Chinese 5 spice seasoning. It's gluten-free, vegan and without onions.
Which winter squash to chose?
Next to parsnips, this vegan soup also contains squash. We personally use Hokkaido squash, also known as red kuri squash or "potimarron" in French. This squash is often used in baked recipes for its sweet taste and therefore goes really well with the earthiness of parsnips. You can however use any squash type you like.
Note that you can peel Hokkaido pumpkin with a potato peeler or add it to the soup with the skin on, as it is relatively thin.
How to make healthy vegetable soup?
Step 1: Wash and peel the parsnip and squash. Cut them into relatively small pieces for them to cook more quickly.
Step 2: Roast the vegetable pieces in a large pot with olive oil for 10 minutes over medium-high heat.
Step 3: Add the vegetable stock and cover with a lid.
Step 4: Simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked over medium heat.
Step 5: Blend until smooth
Step 6: Season with salt and Chinese 5-spice.
Step 7: serve with cooked quinoa and lentils.
Tips to make the best soup
- Cut the veggies small cubes for them to cook more quickly
Cutting the veggies in smaller pieces will allow them to cook more quickly. The soup will also be easier to blend.
- Roast the vegetables before adding vegetable stock
The best tip I can give you is to first roast the vegetables in the pot with a little olive oil before adding the vegetable stock. This will give your soup a slightly caramelized flavor that you'll love.
- Use vegetable broth instead of water
Using vegetable broth allows you to keep the soup vegan and really enhance the taste of the vegetables.
- Add spices
The addition of spices can completely transform soups into a gourmet dish. The sweetness of the squash and the earthiness of the parsnips go really well with the Chines 5 spice seasoning.
- Don't add too much salt
Salt is a taste enhancer and definitely necessary to make soups really scrumptious but be careful not to add to much of it.
How to make soup more filling?
Some people like to eat their soup with a slice of bread but I prefer other toppings. To make soups extremely filling and even more delicious I like to add some nutritious ingredients, such as beans, lentils, quinoa, rice or a blend of these. To go with this spicy parsnip and squash soup I chose a mix of brown lentils and quinoa.
Time-saving tip: use canned lentils and pre-cook some quinoa for the week. You can add what is left to your salads (try this sweet potato, spinach & quinoa winter salad).
Note that if the soup contains potatoes, I probably won't add anything else as it is already fairly satiating.
- Squash: you can use any type of winter squash or even substitute the squash with carrots to make a delicious carrot and parsnip soup.
- Spices: the recipe calls fr Chinese 5 spices. You can however also use a traditional 4 spice or gingerbread spice mix.
How to store the soup?
Transfer the soup into air-tight containers and keep it in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. You can also freeze the soup for up to 6 months.
More healthy vegetable soup recipes
Hokkaido Pumpkin Soup With Parsnip
- 1 Cutting board
- 1 Sharp knife and vegetable peeler
- Measuring cups and spoons or kitchen scales
- 1 Large pot
- 2 large parsnips
- 1 small Hokkaido pumpkin approximately 1 kg or 2.2. lbs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cups (1,5 L) vegetable stock or 2 bouillon cubes + water
- 15 ounces (400 g) canned brown lentils
- ⅔ cup (120 g) quinoa
- 2 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice seasoning or 4 spice or gingerbread spice mix
- 1 pinch of salt
- Wash and peel the vegetables*. Cut them into relatively small pieces for them to cook more quickly.
- Heat a large pot with olive oil. When hot, add the vegetables and roast them for 10 minutes over medium-high heat.
- Add the vegetable stock and cover with a lid. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.
- Rinse the quinoa under cold water. Cook it according to package directions. Drain when cooked
- Drain and rinse the canned lentils.
- Blend the soup with an immersion blender until perfectly smooth.
- Season with salt and Chinese 5-spice. Serve with quinoa and lentils.
- You can peel Hokkaido pumpkin with a potato peeler or add it to the soup with the skin on, as it is relatively thin.
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