Parsnip Cauliflower Soup with Puffed Quinoa (Video!)

  • Author: Nicole Gaffney (
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Simmered
  • Cuisine: Vegan


This easy recipe for Parsnip Cauliflower Soup with Puffed Quinoa is vegan, gluten free, and perfect for a warm, nourishing dinner on a cold day. This velvety smooth soup is full of flavor and gets an extra boost of crunch from nutty, puffed quinoa.



  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • salt and white pepper, to taste
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cubed (about 23 cups)
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into pieces (about 56 cups)
  • water, as needed
  • 1/4 cup quinoa, any variety
  • fresh thyme leaves for serving


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, stir, and cook for one minute, then add garlic. Season with a pinch of salt and white pepper, then cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add parsnips and cauliflower, season with more salt, stir, then add enough water to cover the vegetables. Bring up to a simmer, cover, and cook until all vegetables are completely tender.
  3. In the meantime, make the puffed quinoa. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to a medium pot or saute pan with high sides. Get the oil nice and hot, then add the quinoa and lower the heat to medium-low. Stir the quinoa around constantly until it starts to pop and smell nutty, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a paper plate to drain and season with salt. Set aside.
  4. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until it’s completely smooth. Alternatively, you can do this in batches with a traditional blender, but always practice caution when blending hot liquids. Thin out with more water as needed to achieve your desired consistency. Season liberally with more salt and white pepper to taste. The more water you add, the more salt it will need.
  5. Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle with olive oil, top with a few teaspoons of puffed quinoa and finish with fresh thyme leaves. Serve hot.

Keywords: soup, vegan, parsnip, cauliflower, quinoa, healthy, vegetarian