Parsnip Celeriac Soup:

Just down the street from our home lies a lovely, family-owned Christmas Tree farm. In spite of this, we have opted for an artificial tree the last few years primarily because of my son’s tree allergies. But, I will admit, another factor is the artificial tree is “pre-lit”. Yes, the convenience trumped the natural beauty of the real thing – at least until now. This year we decided to take a chance with the allergies and opt for the full cut-your-own-Christmas-Tree experience.

Tree Farm

Nathaniel found a “little tree”.

Little Tree

His little tree reminded us of Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree.  We ultimately chose a larger tree and the boys took turns (with close supervision!) cutting it down.

Help with cuttingcutting

The tree farm is close enough we could walk home with our tree.

G carries tree-2

We really had fun with cutting our own Christmas tree. It looks and smells great and I’m pretty sure we will be tossing out the artificial tree and going natural from now on.

The experience reminded me of a poem by e.e. cummings I memorized for seventh grade English class:

little tree by e.e. cummings

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don’t be afraid

look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms
and i’ll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy

then when you’re quite dressed
you’ll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they’ll stare!
oh but you’ll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we’ll dance and sing
“Noel Noel”

Christmas tree

Parsnip and Celeriac Soup with Fried Beet Matchsticks

Today’s recipe for Parsnip and Celeriac Soup is inspired by a local restaurant. Their parsnip soup is served with colorful little fried root vegetables sprinkled around the white plate. The soup was delicious, the presentation was beautiful and when we discovered that putting the crunchy root veggie sticks into the soup we decided we had to learn to do this at home. My parsnip and celeriac soup is topped with fried beet matchsticks because 1) they are delicious and 2) the red color is very festive and fun. It would make a great soup course for holiday celebrations or something to warm you up after a chilly day – maybe even after cutting down your own Christmas tree!

paleo soup recipe

Parsnip and Celeriac Soup with Fried Beet Matchsticks


  • 2 tablespoons butter, ghee (or more olive oil for vegan)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups sliced parsnips
  • 1 medium celeriac, cleaned, peeled and chopped into small chunks (about 3 cups)
  • 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt (or to taste – also depends on the saltiness of your stock)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 fresh beet
  • oil for frying beet matchsticks


  1. Melt the butter (or ghee) with the olive oil in a large stock pot.
  2. Add the leeks and cook on medium high for about 5-8 minutes or until leeks are soft, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and continue to cook until the garlic is fragrant (about 1-2 minutes) being careful not to let it burn.
  3. Add the parsnips, celeriac, salt, pepper to the pot and cook along with the leek mixture for a couple of minutes. Add the stock and water and bring to a boil, then reduce to a strong simmer. Cook until the parsnip and celeriac pieces are soft, about forty-five minutes to one hour.
  4. Purée using an immersion blender, or let the soup cool to room temperature and use a blender to process until smooth. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings and add more stock or water if it is too thick – cook down a bit more if too thin.
  5. Peel the fresh beet and slice into matchsticks.beet sticks
  6. Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot enough for frying (a tester beet matchstick will sizzle when dropped in) place a layer of beet matchsticks in the pan and fry until crispy – you may have to turn the heat down to keep from burning them. Drain onto a paper towel and reserve.

Serve the soup warm. Add the fried beets just before serving. Makes about 10 servings.


Blender - Immersion

This week I am giving away a Cuisinart CSB-75BC Smart Stick 2-Speed Immersion Hand Blender. You can use it to make the Parsnip and Celeriac Soup or Paleo Mayo and many, many other recipes. Winner will be announced on Facebook on Sunday, December 15th, 2013.

Check out the Rafflecopter Widget below to find out how to enter. (And by the way, this is not a sponsored giveaway – this immersion blender is a gift from me to one lucky winner just because it’s Christmas time!) 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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