Cream soups usually mean fatty. But not this one. In fact, there’s no cream in it at all. Just milk. We use a little rice to give it an amazingly smooth, thick texture without all the fat of cream. It’s especially delicious after the first frost, when cauliflower and parsnip take on an even sweeter flavor.

Parsnip and Cauliflower Soup


Easy to make. Healthy. And impressive. A Beekman trifecta.

Prep time: 15 Min
Cook time: 25 Min
Total time: 40 Min


1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 1/2 cups milk, plus more for thinning, if desired
2 tablespoons raw long-grain rice
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano
3 parsnips (12 ounces total), peeled and thinly sliced (2 cups)
1 head cauliflower (1 1/2 pounds), broken into florets (10 cups)
Snipped fresh chives, for garnish, optional


Heat the butter and oil over low heat in a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the garlic and onions and cook, stirring frequently until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add the milk, 1 cup water, the rice, salt, marjoram, parsnips and cauliflower. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the cauliflower and parsnips are tender and the rice is thoroughly cooked, about 15 minutes. (Don’t be alarmed if the milk looks curdled, it will become creamy once pureed.)

Working in batches, transfer the soup to a food processor and puree until smooth. For a thinner consistency, add more milk. Serve garnished with chives, if you like.


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  • By: Annice

    I am making the soup and am sure it will be delicious, but what I really want to know is, where oh where did you get that GORGEOUS tureen?? I want.

  • By: robyn

    Wonder if the soup would become too discolored if you were to use almond milk or what it would taste like with goat milk. Don’t do cow dairy.

  • By: Barbara

    Hi Guys! Congratulations on your marriage BTW. My son and his partner just married last month! How exciting these times are. About the soup: do you think an immersion blender would puree the soup as well as a food processor? I do have a processor, just curious about your thoughts.

    • By: Dr. Brent

      Hi, Barbara. The parsnip can be fibrous and a bit much for some immersion blenders, but give it a try

  • By: Timothy Wood

    I love cauliflower, and I love parsnips (either in soups, or roasted [sliced, natch]). So, this recipe looks right up my alley. There is also an excellent recipe for cauliflower casserole in the Adkin’s Diet book. There should be no reason why parsnips could not be added to that, also. If someone wants the cauliflower recipe, send me an email.

  • By: Diana Akin

    Reposted this to FB……loved it….and I did add a little bacon as garnish with the chives. Regarding Jessica Volpox’s comment on the soup….get a grip Jessica! You don’t like the recipe….make something else! Discovered Beekman Boys 1802 a few months ago….love it!
    Looking forward to the celebration episode airing Oct. 1st…..Congratulations…and here’s to many more years together! A new fan from Seattle.

  • By: M J Bender

    Huh: Where did eating wonderful soup get anyone fat??? Soup is great for anyone. Love, love your recipe, can hardly wait to try it. Also, where can I get the dish used in the photo. Love it. Keep your recipes coming. MJB

  • By: Jessica VoxPop (@SilveryJessica)

    There is absolutely nothing healthy about rice. I like the idea of this soup very much, but using rice in lieu of a few tablespoons of cream is ludicrous. Rice is 100% sugar when it is processed by the body, whereas fat actually slows the conversion of carbohydrates to sugars. I am shocked that a medical doctor would promote the idea of using rice to thicken a soup with all of the associated data out there that CARBOHYDRATES are the root of unhealthy weight gain, NOT fats. With all the diabetes in this country, and all the misinformation about how to properly eat and maintain healthy blood glucose levels, it is absolutely staggering that this recipe is being promoted as “healthy”. If a diabetic eats this soup, they will need to inject insulin immediately, which of course contributes to long-term insulin resistance, which affects long-term health and creates weight GAIN. Ridiculous, lazy and inaccurate. I am shocked.

    • By: Josh Kilmer-Purcell

      Hi Jessica…this is Josh, and while I’m not a medical doctor, I would prescribe for you to read the recipe closer. It calls for 2 tablespoons of raw, long grain rice across EIGHT servings. That’s less than 1/4 tablespoon of raw, long grain rice per serving. That’s well well well well within any healthy guidelines. Excess fats are unhealthy. Excess carbohydrates are unhealthy. Heck, even excess vitamins, minerals and fiber are unhealthy. This recipe is not unhealthy unless you ate gallons of it every day for months.

      Being dogmatic about what is or is not “Absolutely 100% healthy” creates more health problems in America than simply promoting a diet that contains a balance of healthy whole foods from across the spectrum. When you vehemently scold people for a balanced, moderated diet in favor of whatever strict unbalanced dietary trend is currently in vogue, you’re confusing people. That leads to long-term unhealthy nutritional see-sawing.

      I ask for an apology for calling us “ridiculous, lazy and innaccurate.” We do not allow name-calling on our site.

      • By: Charla Doughty

        Josh, I appreciate your taking the time to respond to more and more strident, angry, indignant commenting. I rarely have cream in the house but always have rice, cauliflower and parsnips…so there, Jessica!

      • By: Wendy

        I’m with you Josh …and if you use brown rice, it’s even “healthier” . I would choose a complex carb over a saturated fat any day. I think this sounds absolutely delicious. What about adding some celery root? I’ve just discovered this tasty vegetable and am using it everywhere.

  • By: Marie

    I reposted this because it’s a keeper! Love both parsnips and cauliflower and together they make a warm and fuzzy comfort food. Gosh, I love the cooler weather and soup season!

  • By: Patty Brown

    Looks yummy and I love parsnips because they are so sweet. I don’t like cauliflower but I think the sweetness of the parsnips will hide the taste somewhat, so I plan to try it.

  • By: jj

    Do you guys have any suggestions on how to modify this to not include Cauliflower & Parsnip or milk? It makes me gassy. lol

  • By: nlforst

    Josh & Brent,

    Do you guys have any suggestions on how to modify this to not include onions(chives, scallions, or leeks) or garlic? My mom is allergic to both, and wants to try this recipe but doesn’t want it to be bland.

    Any help would be great 🙂

      • By: Paula Evans

        I was thinking the same thing – wouldn’t nice crisp bits of bacon be great in this soup! Perhaps also some finely chopped bits of celery.

        • By: nlforst

          Brent and Paula,

          Thanks for those suggestions. 🙂

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