Appalachia Appalachian Food

Carrot and Parsnip Stew

Carrot and parsnip stew by stephanie burnette

Last summer at The John C. Campbell Folk School’s Little Middle Folk School Week, Chatter learned how to make Carrot and Parsnip Stew from Stephanie Burnette who taught cooking during the week. When Chatter came home raving about it, I had my doubts. Parsnips and chicken? Well let me tell you, Chatter proved me wrong the stew is very good.

Parsnip stew


Folk School Camp Carrot & Parsnip Stew by Stephanie Burnette

  • 1 bag carrots
  • 1 bag parsnips
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups warmed beef broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Peel parsnips and carrots and cut them into 1 inch long sticks (slicing them into circles also works very nicely); keep the 2 separated.

Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven. Add 1 tablespoon butter and let it melt.

Add parsnips to the pot and allow them to brown for about 5 minutes.

Add the other tablespoon of butter; add carrots; stir well and allow the carrots and parsnips to cook for about 10 minutes. Stir the pot often to make sure the veggies aren’t sticking.

Stir in chickpeas and beef broth. Stir in the spices. Turn pot to low and loosely cover.

In a frying pan heat the other tablespoon of coconut oil and fry chicken breasts until done. Remove chicken from pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and add to stew along with any drippings that are left in the frying pan.

The stew is very tasty eaten by itself as a one bowl meal. Or you can serve it with bread or crackers.

Print Carrot and Parsnip Stew (right clink to open link and print recipe)

Now I should fess up and tell you I don’t think I had ever eaten parsnips before I tasted Chitter’s first pot of stew. I guess that was part of my reluctance about the dish in the first place. I have discovered one thing about parsnips over the last year, they may look like carrots but they cost a whole heck of a lot more!

I’m going to try my hand at growing parsnips this year. If you have any tips about growing parsnips, please share them with me.



You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Rev. Rose Marie "RB" Redmond
    March 14, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    That sounds tasty, and sounds like it could easily be Vegan with just a few adjustments too.
    I wonder why though, with chicken in the recipe, they don’t use chicken broth instead of beef broth. Interesting.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    March 14, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Hi Tipper,I thought I would be the one to tell you about digging the parsnips in winter,but Wallace from my birth state beat me to it.There also good to add to mash potato, 6 potatoes 1 parsnip.God Bless.Jean

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 14, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    My parents had separate gardens. My mother’s garden was typical of the time and even into today. Of course Daddy helped Mommy in her garden which is mostly what fed the family, but he had a garden of his own where he grew things which most people in our area had never heard of. I can’t remember everything he grew but parsnips, salsify, asparagus, and chives for sure. Shallots and garlic also come to mind along with boysenberries. He also grew cackleberries by the millions but that is a whole nother story.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    March 14, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    That soup looks really good, although I’ve never eaten any parsnips. I like carrots and put ’em in most of my soups. I’m like Cindy, whenever I make homeade soups, I put lots of taters in it…Ken

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 14, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    I’ve cooked parsnips a few times but did not care much for them so quit trying. I actually tried all the root vegetables I could find, the ones that my dad’s family used to eat. That would include rutabagas, turnips, parsnips, and a couple whose name I no longer remember. My favorite, of course, is Irish potatoes. I have always loved them.
    Your soup sounds very good and healthy. I’d probably skip the cocoanut oil and add some meat grease of some kind. That’s the way I learned to cook and I still fall back on it.
    Jim, Tip plants mostly in raised beds with nice soft mushroom compost so the parsnips should do just fine.

  • Reply
    Wallace Benson
    March 14, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    In my previous comment I said, (4 months to emerge), I meant 4 weeks. Bad day for me!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    March 14, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Mom used to make a soup with chicken and parsnips…I wasn’t crazy about the soup back when I was a child…but when she let me taste the (white carrot) parsnip well, I loved those. Yep, they are sweeter than carrots…When I was on this special diet, I used to eat them. Yes, cost more than carrots…ha
    Jim is totally right on about the deep loose earth for carrots and parsnips…Maybe you can dedicate a long area just for your parsnips…I’m sure Deerhunter could wrestle up some old pieces of wood and build you a raised bed, separate from the big garden for parsnips/carrots. Amend the soil with lots of woodland loam, compost to loosen it up and check the PH and amend that as well….
    For many years we had a separate raised area for our asparagus…That is another vegetable that is worth the time to get established properly…
    Good luck with the parsnips and I’m going to give your soup a try…surely by my age my taste buds will love the combination…
    Thanks for this post Tipper,

  • Reply
    Wallace Benson
    March 14, 2016 at 9:59 am

    I love to eat parsnips and have grown them many times here in Wisconsin. Only use fresh seed every year as parsnip seed does not stay viable for very long. If planted directly in the soil the plants will take about 4 months to emerge and then may be hard to find because of faster weed growth. To speed up the emergence I place a damp paper towel on a large dinner plate, then scatter some seeds around on the towel, and then cover it tightly with saran wrap. Keep the plate in a warm place and you should see the seeds germinate in about a week, then plant in your garden and keep the soil moist until the plants are well established. Parsnips taste sweeter if left in the ground over the winter. I put a thin mulch layer on top after the ground freezes and will dig down through the snow and have fresh parsnips in the dead of winter. There is something satisfying about eating out of your garden when it is 20 below zero! Good luck.

  • Reply
    March 14, 2016 at 9:21 am

    I had to chuckle as I read your recipe today. A few years ago I wanted to try a new type of soup, the name escapes me now, but it included parsnips. I had to act like I couldn’t find them in the fresh food department, not knowing what they looked like. I found them to be rather tasty and the soup, which also contained chicken, was excellent. I am anxious to learn how your gardening of them turns out. I must try this recipe soon! Good job, Chatter!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 14, 2016 at 9:09 am

    I have also wanted to grow parsnips but have never taken the plunge. My first acquaintance with them was in the Blue Ridge of Virginia in the 1970’s. In my job I had to ask permission from a farmer to be on his land. He had just come in from plowing the spring field with a mule. He led me into his basement to a big pile of parsnip and told me to try one. I think they are sweeter than carrots. I keep eyeing them in the store but as you say they are expensive.
    I have long had the impression, perhaps wrongly, that parsnips are grown for two years and not eaten in year one. But I may be confused with the idea that they are a biennial like parsley, carrot, cabbage, onion, etc. I hope you will post installments in your “Parsnip Saga”.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    March 14, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Like you, Tipper, I hardly ever purchase parsnips, and even when I was making a garden, I don’t remember growing parsnips, either at my growing-up place, Choestoe, or at Epworth, GA where we lived for years! But the recipe seems “interesting,” and I printed it out to give it a try!
    Hope all you readers are having a good spring! Can you believe March is half-gone already?

  • Reply
    eva nell mull wike, PhD
    March 14, 2016 at 7:25 am

    Tipper: You are one brave lady! Just keeping up with those girls must be a FUN job! I would like to make the event at the Ranger School this weekend, but have to be in Tennessee!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    March 14, 2016 at 7:25 am

    Tipper–Maybe I can help a bit on growing parsnips. First, the good news–you are in a good climate for growing them. The bad news is that I suspect, though don’t know, that your soil is less than ideally suited for parsnips. Like most kinds of carrots except the little stubby ones, they do best in a loose, deep soil (loam or somewhat sandy), and clay-type soils make it mighty hard for them to send roots down through hard, packed soil which, while rich in nutrients, is tough on root crops.
    If you have raised beds with loose soil they might be your best bet.
    Jim casada

  • Leave a Reply