Creamy Mushroom Parsnip Soup (No Flour)

Believe it or  not, this creamy mushroom soup is made with absolutely no flour or potatoes! To thicken the soup, I use parsnips, which add creaminess with much fewer carbs. I also love the slightly floral and herbal notes of the parsnips; they contrast beautifully with the earthy mushrooms.

This recipe is a simple one to make, simply simmer all the vegetables until tender and reduced, then puree into a smooth creamy soup. For the best flavor, find the fanciest mushrooms you can get and choose a variety of them. Plain old button mushrooms will work, too, but don't do much in terms of flavor. Since the mushrooms are the stars of the dish, you'll want to pick something with a bit more depth like shitake, crimini, or even portabella mushrooms.

You can puree this soup in batches in a regular blender or use an immersion blender right in the pot. I love to serve this soup topped with fresh chives, a shower of lemon zest and a drizzle of olive oil.

Looking for more creamy soup recipes?  Try this Creamy Chestnut Soup, my Creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Carrot Soup, or my Salmorejo (a chilled, creamy gazpacho variation).

Creamy Mushroom Parsnip Soup (No Flour)
Serves 6

1/2 cup butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
Kosher salt
Black pepper
2 stalks celery, sliced
4 large cloves garlic, crushed
2 1/2 pounds mixed mushrooms, chopped (choose a mix of crimini, portabella, shiitake, oyster or other mushrooms.)
1 cup dry sherry or white wine
2-3 large parsnips, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)
6 cups low or no sodium broth (use your favorite—chicken, beef, or vegetable broth all work!)
4 bay leaves
5 sprigs thyme
1 small bunch sage
zest and juice from 1 lemon + more for garnish
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons minced chives, for garnish

Melt butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt, and let cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until onions are soft and start to caramelize. Stir in the celery and garlic, and sauté two minutes, or until fragrant. Add the mushrooms, season with another generous pinch of salt and a crack of black pepper. Stir to coat well, and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the sherry (or wine) and cook, stirring, until liquid is evaporated (about 2 minutes).

Add the chopped parsnips, broth, bay leaves, thyme, sage, lemon zest, and juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Add the cream, and simmer an additional five minutes, then remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Remove the bay leaves (be sure to count out all four!), and any stems from the sage and thyme.

Puree the soup using an immersion blender, or in batches in a standard blender, transferring it all into a clean pot once smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve soup garnished with a sprinkle of chives and fresh lemon zest.

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