I will admit that turnips are not a vegetable I would ever buy, if left to my own devices. However, they were part of our CSA share last week, and, while I briefly considered leaving them in the trade box, I decided to get creative instead.
Inspired by Agrigirl’s top 10 soups list, I decided to try out a recipe for turnip soup with greens.
It was easy to make, and actually quite tasty. I like that it uses both the roots and greens of the turnip — nothing gets wasted.
The recipe originally came from The Greens Cookbook, which I got for Christmas this year (yay for my in-laws scoping my Amazon wish list!). No one knows veggies quite like Deborah Madison, I have to say. I had dinner at Greens for my birthday a couple of years ago, and it was amazing. This is the first recipe I have tried from the cookbook, but it did not disappoint!
1 1/2 lbs small turnips* (weighed without their greens)
5 Tbs butter, divided
2-3 leeks, sliced (white parts only)
1/4 tsp dried thyme, or about 6 sprigs fresh thyme, picked and chopped, plus additional for serving
4 cups milk
turnip greens (2-3 cups)
salt and pepper
Peel the turnips and slice them into 1/4-inch rounds. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt the water, and add the sliced turnips. Cover and cook for 1 minute, then drain.
Melt 3 Tbs butter in a soup pot with 1/2 cup water. Add the leeks, blanched turnips, thyme, and 1 tsp salt. Stew them, covered, over medium low heat for 5 minutes, then add the milk. Heat slowly without bringing to a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the turnips are completely tender.
Meanwhile, wash the turnip greens and remove any that are bruised or tough-looking. Melt the remaining 3 Tbs butter in a pan, add the greens, and cook them until they are tender, 5-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the cooked greens to a cutting board and chop them, roughly or finely, as you prefer.
Once the turnips are done, cool the mixture slightly and then transfer to a blender to purée.** Serve the soup topped with chopped greens and a sprinkling of thyme.
* Small, young turnips have a more delicate flavor, but you can use larger ones, too.
** Or use your handy-dandy immersion blender!