Chinese Parsnip Dessert Soup

Kate Hambley & Eric Din

This recipe was submitted as part of our We ♥ Local Parsnips Recipe Contest by Kate Hambley and Eric Din. Kate and Eric say, "This sweet soup is a traditional Chinese dessert made from taro, a purple potato-like root vegetable. You can substitute humble parsnips or other locally-available root vegetables for an easy, inexpensive, and unusual dessert."

Prep Time

20 minutes

Cook Time

30 minutes


8 Servings


1⁄2 cup tapioca pearls
8 parsnip (medium, peeled, chopped, boiled, mashed (2 cups mashed))
14 ounces coconut milk (unsweetened)
2 cups water
1⁄2 cup sugar, rock (or granulated sugar or condensed milk)


Add parsnips to a pot of boiling water and cook until tender. Drain cooking water and mash parsnips with a fork until the majority of the parsnips is smooth (you can leave some chunky bits if you want more texture in the soup).

Boil a separate pot of water. Add tapioca pearls. Boil for 5-6 minutes, turn off the heat, and cover for another 10-15 minutes. Check the tapioca after 10 minutes. It is done once the center has turned translucent.

To the pot with the mashed parsnips, add the coconut milk and 2 cups of water and heat on low heat.  If you are using rock sugar, add it (it takes awhile to take dissolve).  Stir the mixture until the parsnips are blended with the coconut milk, then add tapioca and stir to incorporate.  If using granulated sugar or condensed milk, add it when you add the tapioca.

If you prefer a soupier consistency, add more coconut milk or water.  You can also sweeten with additional sugar to taste.