Creamy Spring Turnip Soup With Wilted Radish Greens And Bacon

May 20, 2012
Photo by James Ransom
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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

  • Prep time 35 minutes
  • Cook time 50 minutes
  • Serves 4-6 (depends on serving size)
  • Soup
  • 3 young leeks white and light green parts cleaned VERY well
  • 3 cups young turnips peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (I used chicken)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
  • Bacon and greens
  • 6 slices of bacon (I used maple cured)
  • 1 head of radishes, greens only
In This Recipe
  1. Soup
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  1. Bacon and greens
  2. Remove the greens from the radishes and clean very well to remove any grit. Lay on paper towel to dry.
  3. 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.

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I have loved to cook for as long as I can remember, am self taught learning as I go. I come from a large Italian family and food was at the center of almost every gathering. My grandfather made his own wine and I remember the barrels of wine in the cellar of my grandfathers home, I watched my mother and aunts making homemade pasta and remember how wonderful it was to sit down to a truly amazing dinner. Cooking for me is a way to express myself its my creative outlet. I enjoy making all types of food but especially enjoy baking, I live in Brooklyn, NY, and I share my home with my two dogs Izzy and Nando. I like to collect cookbooks and scour magazines and newspapers for recipes. I hope one day to organize them.