Jessica’s Velvety Vegan Parsnip Pear Soup

Collage of woman and food
Collage of woman and food

Community Recipes is a recurring feature where I ask a community member to share a vegan recipe with us. This week I’m featuring Jessica Levinson and her Velvety Vegan Parsnip Pear Soup.  This soup is perfect for fall and winter and would be a great soup to serve for Hanukkah party.  

Woman with blonde hair and purple sweater in kitchen

More about Jessica

Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN  is a twin Mom and a nationally recognized nutrition expert with a focus on culinary nutrition and communications. She is the author of the super helpful and practical book: 52-Week Meal Planner: The Complete Guide to Planning Menus, Groceries, Recipes, and More

Jessica’s Velvety Vegan Parsnip Pear Soup

Her nutritious and delicious parsnip pear soup recipe has a sweet and savory taste that adults and children love.  It is pureed, creamy and dairy-free. You can eat it plain or garnish it with an easy to make cranberry coulis that adds a tarte pop to the soup.  This soup can be served as a simple dinner meal or dressed up with the cranberry colis for a special occasion meal.

Should you omit the oil?

Jessica uses a tiny bit of oil in her recipe.  If you are oil-free, you can omit it. If you want to learn more about the nutritional value of oil, watch this video.  Here is a quick article that gives three compelling reasons to reduce or omit oil from our diets.  

Vegan soups are a simple and healthy habit

Preparing and eating low-fat dairy-free vegan soup is such a simple and healthy habit.  Some of the main benefits are making vegan soups a consistent part of your dietary pattern are: 

  • More Fiber: all the vegetables means that the soup gives your body the fiber it needs for health 
  • Lots of Hydration: the non-dairy liquid means that the soup hydrates your body 
  • Feelings of warmth and fullness: Warm soup feels so good in our stomachs and it gives us a feeling of comfortable satiation, that good full feeling that we get when we eat.  
White soup with pink swirl

For this recipe, Jessica uses the following key ingredients:

I hope that you enjoy Jessica’s soup. You can take a peek into her Jessica’s kitchen and see more of her recipes here.

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Jessica’s Velvety Vegan Parsnip Pear Soup

  • Author: Jessica Levinson


A simple, wholefood, creamy vegan soup for everyday and special meals.


For the Soup:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium shallot, diced (1/2 cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon)

1 1/2 pounds parsnip, peeled and chopped (4 to 5 cups)

1 pound pears, chopped* (3 cups)

6 cups low sodium vegetable broth

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

2 cups water

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste


For the Cranberry Coulis (optional)

1 cup frozen cranberries

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon water, divided

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice



  1. In a medium to large soup pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic and saute for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until shallots have softened and become translucent.

  2. Add parsnips to the pot and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the shallots and garlic don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Lower heat to medium, cover the pot, and cook 5 minutes until parsnip is tender and starting to brown.

  3. Add pears to the pot and stir. Cover the pot and cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Uncover the pot and add broth and thyme. Raise heat to high and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer for 20 minutes.

  5. Remove soup from heat, uncover, and let cool 5 minutes. 

  6. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth.

  7. Return soup to medium heat, add 2 cups water, and simmer 10 minutes. 

  8. Stir in maple syrup, white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste.

For the Cranberry Coulis:

  1. in a small saucepan, combine cranberries, 1/4 cup water, and sugar and bring to a boi

  2. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until the cranberries have popped and you have a thickened sauce. 

  3. Remove from heat and cool about 5 minutes. 

  4. Place a fine strainer over a bowl and use a spatula or the back of a spoon to help pass the liquid through the strainer, leaving the solids behind.**

  5. Add lemon juice and remaining tablespoon of water to cranberry coulis and whisk to combine.

  6. Serve soup with cranberry coulis drizzled on top.


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