This simple turnip soup is the perfect use for a bunch of turnips when you're lucky enough to get them with their greens still attached. Feel free to use loose turnips and a bunch of hearty cooking greens (turnip greens are great to use but any kind will be delicious in this soup).
Like so many soup recipes, this one is very flexible. Add additional vegetables or herbs as you have available and that sound good to you, or see below for some tasty variations.
- 1 bunch of turnips with greens, or 3 or 4 turnips and 1 bunch of turnip greens
- 2 small onions or leeks
- 2 or 3 cloves garlic
- 2 slices bacon or 2 ounces pancetta (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 4 to 6 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth, depending on how "soupy" you like your soup
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
- Remove the greens from the turnips, if necessary. Wash and rinse the greens, cut them into thin strips, and set them aside.
- Peel the turnips, chop them into small chunks, and set aside.
- P rep the rest of the ingredients: Peel and finely chop the onions or clean and finely chop the leeks. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Finely chop the bacon or pancetta, if using. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon or pancetta, if you're using it, and cook until it starts to render its fat. Add the onions or leeks, sprinkle with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the chopped turnips and stir to combine. Pour in the broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook until the turnips are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Stir in the greens and cook until the greens are fully wilted and tender, about 2 minutes.
- Taste the soup and add salt or other seasonings to taste. Serve the soup hot, garnished with black pepper, if you like.
Spice It Up! Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes or a finely chopped fresh chile in with the garlic. Do only some of you want it spicy? Drizzle a bit of hot chile oil into those servings.
Make It Herbalicious! Stir in a tablespoon or two of finely chopped fresh herbs right before serving—dill, mint, or basil are good choices. If you prefer rosemary, go with just a teaspoon or so, since it packs a real punch of flavor.
Garnishes Galore! Use chopped herbs or chiles as garnishes instead, or simply grate on a bunch of Parmesan or other hard grating cheese for a prettier presentation and extra flavor.