Dishing Up the Dirt

Lentil Parsnip And Fennel Soup

Nothing in the wintertime warms me up quite like a bowl of comforting soup. Honestly, cuddling up with a bowl of soup, some hot tea, and flipping through seed catalogs is my idea of an awesome evening.  Do I sound like I’m 85 years-old? I’m okay with that.

Taylor and I are lucky enough to still be eating some leftover parsnips from our 2013 season. They’ve stored really well and I’ve been loving them in soups, stir fries, and even as a substitute for mashed potatoes (just boil them, add a splash of coconut milk, mash them and sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper.)

This crazy looking root vegetable also pairs extremely well with fennel, star anise, and lentils. Honestly, this recipe has everything going for it. Not only is it delicious, but it is full of superfood nutrition and will keep you full for hours. I can’t get enough!

I’ve made a similar soup in the past and fell in love with the combination of fennel and star anise. However, the addition of parsnips takes this soup to a whole new level. This soup is simple but it has amazing flavor with so few ingredients. Give it a whirl and let me know how you like it. Cheers to comfort food!

Lentil Parsnip and Fennel Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes    Cook Time: 1 hour    Serves: 4-6

  • 1 cup french green lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3-4 large parsnips, cut into 1/4 inch chunks
  • 1 large fennel bulb, finely chopped (reserve fonds for garnish)
  • 2 1/2 TBS fresh minced ginger
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups water
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. In a medium sauce pan combine the lentils, star anise, and water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until lentils are tender. About 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Once oil is heated through add the ginger, onion, parsnips and fennel. Cook until veggies are tender. About 5-8 minutes. Stirring often.
  3. Remove the star anise from the lentils. Carefully pour the lentils and broth into the stock pot with the parsnips and fennel. Season with salt and pepper. Let soup simmer for about 25 minutes allowing all the flavors to blend together. If soup is too thick add a little more water.
  4. Season soup with crushed red pepper flakes and top with minced fennel fonds. Taste test and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
  5. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!


Use this recipe as a guide. Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary. Always taste test as you go.

Leave a Reply

11 thoughts on “Lentil Parsnip And Fennel Soup

  1. This sounds awesome! and I can’t wait to try the mashed parsnips with coconut milk and rosemary! Yum! You really know your way around a root vegetable, girl! 🙂

    1. Andrea says:

      Root veggies are my one true love 🙂

  2. cheri says:

    This sounds delicious, parsnips and fennel, how interesting!

    1. Andrea says:

      The combination works really well! Give it a whirl!!!

  3. I love lentils and I love parsnips but have never put them together! They sound like a match made in soup heaven!

    1. Andrea says:

      They really are a match made in heaven!

  4. Hehe those hairy parnsips crack me up every time. I am with you on the cuddling up with soup and tea part… just substitute some bridal magazines for the seed catalogs and throw a glass of wine in there and I’m all set! I hardly ever cook with anise and am now dying to give this a try. Looks perfect!

    1. Andrea says:

      We should totally hang! Soup, Magazines and wine. Sounds like the perfect evening 🙂

  5. Joanne says:

    I second your soup sentiments, except for me, it’s cookbooks instead of seed magazines! 😛 Such a lovely soup!

  6. Mary says:

    I love it! I made the French Lentil soup you posted a while back and that was great. But this one is even better. Thanks!

  7. wendy says:

    I love this soup Andrea. Delicious!

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