Peel and dice the onion. Peel the parsnips and cut into chunky pieces. Peel & core the pears and cut into chunks. Peel the root ginger and chop coarsely.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté the chopped onion for 2-3 minutes. Add the parsnips and ginger and cook for a further 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until just starting to colour.
Add the pears to the pan, together with the coconut milk and one cup of water. Stir well, bring to a gentle simmer, and cook on a low heat for around 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat, and blend the soup to a smooth consistency. You may need to add a little more water if the soup is very thick.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.