Gourmet Veggie Mama

Turnip soup with greens

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!

Turnip Soup with Greens
Originally from The Greens Cookbook via Agrigirl

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!

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6 Thoughts on “Turnip soup with greens

  1. It looks good, but I’d say this is one of the recipes I’ll be saving until my mother in law comes to town, or else until my husband is travelling. He’s such a food wuss.

    • Blah, I say. Tell him to man up. 😉 I kid, I kid. I’m honestly not sure how keen I would have been on turnip soup if not pressed to use turnips in SOME way…

  2. Ellen B on February 1, 2012 at 5:26 am said:

    Hi, Lauren. I’m a friend of your father’s in Texas. I subscribed to your blog about a week ago and have been loving it! Great recipes delivered with warmth and love. Ellen B

  3. Thank you so much for being brave enough to try it and then for sharing it with others.

    • I’m so glad you shared the recipe! This will definitely be my preferred way to use turnips from here on out. I have a good recipe for turnip gratin, too, but it’s mostly a side dish kind of thing. I love that turnips take center stage here!

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