Saturday, May 8, 2010


So, today in our vegetable co-op thing (they choose what veggies you get), we received some turnips. I wasn't sure what to make for dinner anyway, so I thought, 'why don't I try some turnip soup?' Out of curiosity, I googled "what do turnips taste like?" and found out all sorts of things about them. One of the articles was telling you how to properly cook them to avoid that "turnipy taste" that everyone hates. I thought the comment was pretty dated, actually, because I don't think anyone in my generation has even had a turip, much less associate any flavor with it - good or bad. But, I still set out not to make dinner too "turnipy."

I read some more articles from "lay people" (if you will) that described a turnip as being like a cross between a potato and a carrot. I disagree. I think it is just its own thing. While cutting it up, it smelled like cabbage to me (and it is of the cabbage family), but the taste wasn't anything familiar to me. Maybe the consistency was potato-y. I'm going on and on.

Anyway. Our soup was SO GOOD I just had pass this recipe on - even though it isn't my own - just incase there are those of you out there who are buying turnips like crazy without any use for them. I'm sure the audience for this post is small...

Puree of Turnip Soup
Total Time: 30 minutes

1 lb. white turnips (about 4 medium)
1 medium Russet (or other starchy) potato
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, pelled and roughly chopped (I used 1 1/2)
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed (I used 2)
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 c chicken stock
Kosher sale to taste
Black pepper to taste
  1. Cut turnips into (roughly) same-sized pieces, about ½ inch to 1 inch thick, depending on diameter. Don't worry about precision — the soup is going to be puréed anyway. We just want the pieces to be of uniform size so that they cook evenly.

  2. Peel the potato and cut it into pieces about the same size as the turnips.

  3. In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat the butter over a low-to-medium heat.

  4. Add the onion, garlic and turnips and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is slightly translucent, stirring more or less continuously.

  5. Add the wine and cook for another minute or two or until the wine seems to have reduced by about half.

  6. Add the stock and the potato. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the turnips and potatoes are soft enough that they can easily be pierced with a knife. Don't let them get mushy, though.

  7. Remove from heat and purée in a blender, working in batches if necessary.

    Tip: Use care when processing hot items in a blender as the hot steam can sometimes blow the blender lid off. Start on a slow speed with the lid slightly ajar to vent any steam, then seal the lid and increase the blending speed.

  8. Return puréed soup to pot and bring to a simmer again, adding more broth or stock to adjust the thickness if necessary.

  9. Season to taste with Kosher salt and white pepper.

  10. Garnish with a toasted crouton and serve right away.
Makes about 1½ quarts (6 8-oz. servings) of soup.

Optional: Stir ¼ cup hot cream into the soup just before serving.

We also used the turnip greens in our salad (healthy!!) and I had some bread that was drying out, so decided to make croutons. EASY! If you've never done it, just:

- Cut up the bread into crouton-size chunks, dry them out in the oven (350 for 15 minutes or so).
- Heat a little butter and olive oil on low, add some minced garlic, and whatever minced herbs you like to the oil (heat releases the flavors) I used chives, thyme and parsley from the garden.
- When the bread is done, toss it with the mixture and add garlic salt and pepper. I added a little more olive oil too.

ANYWAY - Yummy! So good with the soup and the salad we had. Thank you Lord, for turnips. What inspiration they provided tonight!


jessie said...

thanks for the idea! sounds good. Which co-op do you belong to?

Jackie Miller said...

Stono Market

Matt and Ashley said...

Jackie, sounds like you found a winner with that recipe. We did the co-op thing several years ago and got turnips then too. The lady told me that they were like potatoes (but I agree with you, I think they are their own thing) and said she would mash them up like mashed potatoes. I tried it, and it was good. But I definitely think that you need to mix them with some potatoes. I tried it both ways and alone they kind of have a weird texture and just wasn't really thrilled about them. But if you mash them with some potatoes, butter, milk/cream and garlic they make a good side dish to a meal as well. Just thought I would pass that along.