Comfort Food recipe Alert: Sweet Potato Parsnip Soup

Attention all you comfort-food-lovers out there! This recipe is fabulously good. In fact, I made it on the weekend and my official recipe tester said “It’s out of this world”. I love soups because they are easy peasy, require few ingredients and they are wonderful as an appetizer or they can hold their own as a main dish with a beautifying salad.

This recipe is certified organic and 100% local – can you get any better than that? Nutrient-dense-mega-watt-tasting ingredients = sweet potato carrot soup with East Indian-inspired spices. So this is what I bought:  2 sweet potatoes, 4 parsnips and a bunch of garlic from a farmers’ market.

Before I share this recipe, I must tell you about one of my fave root veggies, sweet potato. They are a nutritional superstar and your tastebuds will love em’ too thanks to the natural sweetness they provide to a recipe. So here’s the joyous nutritional scoop:

  • Antioxidants: The sweet potato has a unique protein, which, research shows, has one-third the antioxidant activity of glutathione. This is impressive since glutathione is one of the body’s most important internally produced antioxidants. The presence of these proteins along with the potatoes high level o of vitamine C and carotenese make them a superman-like food. Another interesting fact: The darker the sweet potato the higher the level of carotenes.
  • Vitamin content: Sweet potatoes contain. B2, B6, manganese, copper, biotin and pantothenic acid. These vitamins are important for energy metabolism, hair health (beautifying!), thyroid health and more.
  • Blood sugar balance: Sweet potatoes have been aptly nicknamed an anti-diabetic food because studies have shown they help stabilize blood sugar and improve the body’s response to insulin. A good source of fibre, they also slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream. Good for keeping your belly fuller longer!
  • Lastly, and probably the most important of all is that sweet potatoes are a complex carbohydrate making them an ideal comfort food. Clients I consult who have cravings for sweets always benefit from adding sweet potatoes to their diet.
  • We won’t leave parsnips totally out in the cold, they are actually very similar in nutritional profile to sweet potatoes. I love the distinct taste they give this recipe.


2 sweet potatoes, washed (don’t peel if they are organic, most of the minerals are in the skin)
4 parsnips (per above)
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
3 cups of almond milk (preferably organic)
2 cups of filtered water or any stock (veggie or chicken – if you buy it make sure it is MSG-FREE and very low in sodium)
2 tbsp of your favourite curry spice*



Step one: Preheat your oven to 350F. Chop your sweet potatos and parsnips into chunks. Place in a large baking dish with enough water to coat the bottom (to prevent them from drying out). Season with sea salt and pepper. Bake for 60 minutes or until they are tender when you poke them with a fork.


*I use an organic curry spice that I buy from a health food store in Kensington Market, the main ingredients are: turmeric and cumin. If you’ve never used organic spices before, I encourage you to do so BIG TIME! They are so delicate and susceptible to losing their nutrient-content when drowned in pesticides. If that’s not enough to convince you, stick your nose into organic curry spice and then non-organic, your nose knows!

Once they are cooked and cooled slightly. Either transfer them to a large pot and blend with a hand processor or place all veggies into a large 10-cup food processor. Add raw garlic. Pulse until partially blended and slowly add almond milk, water and spices. Blend until smooth.

Transfer to a large soup pot and reheat on low on your stovetop. Give it a little taste test and add more of any ingredient you feel it needs. Let your tastebuds do the judging for you!

Garnish with any green herb, parsley is always nice and a source of minerals too.

(The colour is a little off in this photo above, thanks to my blackberry camera. What can I say I wanted to eat it right away!)


Joy McCarthy

Joy McCarthy is the vibrant Holistic Nutritionist behind Joyous Health. Author of JOYOUS HEALTH: Eat & Live Well without Dieting, professional speaker, nutrition expert on Global’s Morning Show, Faculty Member at Institute of Holistic Nutrition and co-creator of Eat Well Feel Well. Read more...

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  • Perfect timing as always Joy. I also love soup – and this one looks delicious!!

  • Hi, do you have to use almond milk or would farm fresh raw cow milk be okay to use?

    • You can use whatever you like. :) If you have access to fresh raw cow milk, then go for it!

  • great soup!how much can i have for lunch and what als goes with it for full meal.Thank you. Jenny

  • Mmm. Looks good. Will be pulling the parsnips out of the garden this weekend so we’ll definitely have to try this out.

    • Oh you are so lucky you’ve got some parsnips in your garden! Let me know what you decide to make with them. Thanks for sharing Al.

      • Parsnips ended up being pretty small. A couple of decent sized ones. Used a bunch in this soup which was pretty darned tasty and a great fall soup.

  • This looks perfect! Not only have I been craving soup AND comfort food lately, but I have diabetes too! I’ve got it all in the kitchen… and almonds in the freezer to make milk with. Thanks!

  • It sounds like a wonderful recipe but I have a nut allergy and I am lactose intolerant, what can I substitute the almond milk for?

  • My hubby dislikes parsnips, what could I used instead? Thanks :)

  • Love Sweet potatoes! I just made this hearty comfort soup but substituted parsnips for organic pears and add roasted hemp seeds for some salty crunch:) Delicious Joy Thank you!

  • This recipe look yummy and perfect for lunch, what can I substitute if I don’t have parsnips at the moment? any suggestions?

    • Carrots would work nicely as well! Good luck, let me know how it turns out!