The main stars of this soup, parsnips, are part of the parsley family and provide folate, fiber, and phenolic acids, which may help reduce production of cancerous cells. They contain ample amounts of soluble fiber, which moderates fat and cholesterol absorption in the intestines while diluting bile acids to prevent reflux.
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in the bottom of a stockpot. Add the onion. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent. If you have white wine, add a splash (about 4 tablespoons) to the pot. Add the parsnips, herbs, salt, and pepper and cook for 10 more minutes. Add the water, stir to scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the parsnips are tender — about 30 minutes.
Mash the parsnips into the broth using a hard spatula, immersion blender, or potato masher. Taste for salt. Garnish with fresh, chopped scallions or fresh, minced parsley and savor each velvety bite.