Turnip Soup Cooking Demo
I feel like turnips are an easily forgotten vegetable. You don't see them much in restaurants and you really have to look for them at the market. But man are they special.
I love the small spring turnips that don't have to be peeled. They roasted quite well with their greens. So, for those big turnips, whattya do?
We're gonna make a soup!
Turnip Soup with Gruyere Croutons (page 195)
Equipment: knife, soup pot, vegetable peeler, immersion blender
Time: 45 minutes
4-6 medium turnips, 1.5-2 pounds, with their greens if available
3 small yellow-fleshed potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
2 leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 chopped parsley
4 thyme sprigs or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1.5 teaspoons salt
6 cups water or Basic Vegetable Stock (page 175)
1/2 cup milk or half-and-half
Freshly milled white pepper
Cheese croutons made with Gruyere cheese, 2 per serving
NOTES ON INGREDIENTS
1. I used basic Idaho potatoes. You're more likely to find these than a specific type that has especially yellow or buttery flesh.
2. I used water. I'm sure vegetable stock enhances flavor. But definitely don't leave out the milk at the end. It thickens the soup which enhances the texture dramatically.
3. If choosing turnips with their greens, you'll want to make this recipe ASAP so the greens stay fresh.
HOW TO USE IN A MEAL
1. Very satisfying soup with the greens and croutons added in. Even a nice replacement for tomato soup if doing a grilled cheese sandwich.
2. Add some cooked rice and bake in a small shallow dish, covered in more cheese, like a gratin.
3. Before adding the milk, you can freeze part of the pureed soup for later usage.
A note about the cooking time: Cooking is pretty quick on this one, especially if you slice everything thinly enough. The time-consuming part is peeling the turnips and potatoes. Turnips can have a very thick outer layer and using a vegetable peeler takes too long. It's quicker to use a knife and slice off the outer layer.
Peel the turnips and potatoes, quarter, and thinly slice them. Discard the stems and any yellowed leaves from the greens. Wash the remaining leaves well.
Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the turnips, potatoes, leeks, garlic, parsley, and thyme. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the salt and the water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Puree all or just part of the soup, depending on whether you like a smooth soup or one with some texture. Stir in the milk.
While the soup is cooking, chop the greens into small pieces. There should be about 2 cups, although more is fine. Simmer them in salted water until they're tender, then drain and add them to the finished soup. Taste for salt, season with pepper, and serve with two cheese croutons in each bowl or on the side.
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