Creamy Spring Turnip Soup With Wilted Radish Greens And Bacon

By • May 20, 2012 • 40 Comments



Author Notes: This soup is creamy and rich and can be served either hot/warm or chilled. The flavor of the turnips is undeniable, I topped the soup with bacon and wilted radish greens (wilted in bacon fat) I had the soup both chilled and warm and it's equally good both ways. The soup is made with young leeks, and turnips, very simple and straightforward, no butter only a little heavy cream to soften the sharpness of the turnips.sdebrango

Food52 Review: What's great about this recipe is its simplicity. It turns out a rich basic soup that is dependable for a hearty meal with crusty bread or an elegant first course. This soup lends itself to being made again with variations. I had to reign myself in for the sake of testing. Delicious! Side note: I might serve this with mint marinated lamb and a crisp radish mint citrus salad. One variation I’d try is using a carrot puree for garnish.
Jennifer Essex

Serves 4-6 (depends on serving size)

Soup

  • 3 cups young turnips peeled and chopped
  • 3 young leeks white and light green parts cleaned VERY well
  • 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (I used chicken)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Clean and slice your leeks, I like Amanda's method, clean, trim and chop into rounds and add to a large amount of clean water. The grit goes to the bottom, then I scoop them out and rinse again. Let them air dry while you prep the turnips. Peel, rinse and chop the turnips into quarters.
  2. Heat only enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a heavy large saucepan, add the dried leeks and cook only until softened. Add the turnips and cook for a short time you don't want them to brown only to start to soften, I cooked on medium/high heat. Add the stock, bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and cook for approximately 30 minutes or until the turnips are very soft.
  3. You may not need all of the liquid depending on how thick you like your soup, so drain the turnips and leeks and process in blender until very smooth. Pour into a bowl and add back the stock until it reaches the consistency you like. Now add the heavy cream. Adjust seasoning. Stir and set aside while you make the topping. If you are serving the soup warm pour back in the saucepan and keep on very low flame.

Bacon and greens

  • 4-6 slices of bacon (I used maple cured)
  • the greens from a head of radishes
  1. Remove the greens from the radishes and clean very well to remove any grit. Lay on paper towel to dry.
  2. Fry the bacon until crisp, remove from pan and lay on paper towel, add the dried radish greens and saute only until wilted. Remove to paper towel. Ladle soup into bowls lay some of the wilted greens and crumble some of the bacon on top.
Jump to Comments (40)

Comments (40) Questions (2)

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10 months ago Mateo

Great recipe. Very tasty, and one I could easily eat chilled or warm. Made with homemade chicken stock leftover from a whole organic bird I cooked. I made it on the thin side, using all the stock, and it was still buttery and hearty.

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10 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you very much Mateo, so happy you liked the soup.

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about 1 year ago CarlaCooks

I made this yesterday and substituted the leeks with 6 rather large scallions/green onions. It was quick, easy, and very tasty. Thanks for a lovely recipe!

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Carla, thank you so much. I am so happy you liked the soup and I think scallions are a great sub for the leeks.

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over 1 year ago chefdianetx

How many cups of leeks would you think for 3 young ones are?

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over 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I never measured but I think 2-3 cups. The leeks were young and on the small side so I think that is a pretty close guess. Leeks are so delicious and mild in flavor using a little more rather than less will only make the soup better IMHO. Hope you like!

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over 1 year ago QueenSashy

I just stumbled upon this recipe... It looks like heaven and it must taste like heaven. I am on my way to get some turnips and MUST cook this ASAP!

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over 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much, I love this soup, it's so simple to make and tastes really good. I have even made from smallish more mature turnips and it's just as good as the sweet young things, I hope you like it if you give it a try, it's also really good wilting the turnip greens instead of radish greens in the bacon fat.

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about 2 years ago Better Than Mom's

Made this recently after finding beautiful Japanese turnips at the farmers market. What an incredible soup for late Spring! I used applewood smoked bacon, along with the very fresh and vibrant turnip greens. Served the soup lukewarm on a hot night, and not a drop leftover.
Many thanks, will def. make it again.

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about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much, I also used applewood smoked bacon it is perfect in the soup and I love that you used the turnip greens. So thrilled you enjoyed thank you for trying it!

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about 2 years ago JamesCooper

This recipe can be improved in two ways. First, cooking the turnips in the pan with the leeks after you've cooked the leeks can result in them getting too brown. Better to take them out and cook the turnips by themselves. However, the recipe is even better if you roast the turnips instead. Here is my report on this approach: http://exm.nr/Lgwgqu

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about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you very much for your helpful advice. I did not want the leeks or turnips to brown which is why I said to saute the leeks only until they are soft and then add the turnips and very quickly cook them with the leeks careful not to brown them, I found that cooking on a medium high heat achieved that. I like the idea of roasting the turnips and have done that when I make a roasted root vegetable soup but I wanted the turnips (and leeks) to remain light in color. I do appreciate the helpful advice and am always looking for ways to improve recipes. Thank you so much!

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about 2 years ago dressage101

Made this tonight without the bacon, still really great soup. Paired nicely with gouda and some seed crackers! Who would have thought such a simple soup could be so good. Thanks so much for sharing!

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about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much dressage10, so glad you liked it. Honestly, the soup stands alone even without bacon the young turnips are so delicious. Really appreciate the feedback and that you made it. I find simple is usually best.

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about 2 years ago Linda's Kitchen

Congratulations sdebrango! This soup is so good! I never knew that the soup would taste so sweet. So, it really needed the bitter greens from the radish and extra fatty flavor punch from the bacon. I actually used my home-cured pancetta. This is a keeper. Thank you.

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about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much Linda, the little turnips are very sweet and you are exactly right the slightly bitter greens and fatty bacon or pancetta balances it perfectly. Thank you very much for giving it a try and I am thrilled that you enjoyed it.

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about 2 years ago Kukla

Congratulation sdebrango on the CP well deserved! Your soup looks smooth and velvety and sounds very tasty.

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about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much Kukla and congrats again on being a finalist, this soup is really delicious and so easy and fast to make.

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about 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Yay! So glad this is a CP! It's just a gorgeous soup. Yum!

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about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much, it is a really nice soup but your pizza, WOW!!

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over 2 years ago EmilyC

This is one beautiful soup, sdebrango. Love, love, love the garnish!

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much Emily! I love the wilted radish greens!!

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about 2 years ago EmilyC

So happy to see this received a CP!

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about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much Emily it's an honor and I am very happy!

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over 2 years ago Bevi

Beautiful soup!

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks Bevi, I love the white or really off white soup with the bright green radish leaves. It really tastes good too!

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over 2 years ago Fairmount_market

This sounds delicious with just the right amount of rich flavors.

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much!

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over 2 years ago inpatskitchen

I sure wish I could get hold of some young turnips...this is right up my alley, cold warm, winter, summer, spring or fall!

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks Pat, I had a really hard time finding them, there were none at the farmers market in my neighborhood, I had to go to 3 places and they were pretty sad looking when I did find them. I think regular smallish turnips would work exactly the same way, next time I am not going to ends of the earth to find them. The bigger turnips have the same flavor essentially.

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over 2 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

this looks delicious, sdebrango! yummy!!

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much!

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about 2 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Huge congrats, Suzanne! I liked this from the get-go!!!

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about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much, I am so happy my recipe was picked!

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I love baby turnips, and I bet this is a wonderful vehicle for them! Nice touch with the bacon wilted radish greens. Did you try bacon wilting the turnip greens?

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

No I didn't the turnip greens were not in really good shape, I had to go to several places to find baby turnips and when I did find them they were a little sad, especially the greens, The radishes were beautiful and the greens so fresh and bright I decided to use those instead. I think the turnip greens wilted in bacon would be amazing. Thank you so much.

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

That sound frustrating! I'm glad you prevailed in the end.

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you, I am not a radish lover, I like the greens though and turnips also not a favorite this was a tough one.

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over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I feel your pain. The chef's adage of "I'll eat anything" doesn't necessarily translate to "I'll make anything" when given a choice. And I decided to exercise my choice to keep that line drawn at radishes and turnips. Give me a parsnip, I'm a happy person. Still, I love how you came at the ingredients. I would definitely eat this.

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over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You've come up with the one way I may be able to eat radishes in any form. Beautiful!