Creamy Spring Turnip Soup With Wilted Radish Greens And Bacon

May 20, 2012
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 35 minutes
  • Cook time 50 minutes
  • Serves 4-6 (Depends on serving size)
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • CarlaCooks
  • chefdianetx
  • QueenSashy
  • dressage101
  • Kukla
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.

23 Reviews

Casey O. November 7, 2016
This soup is so good! I can't believe how rich it is with so few ingredients. Could easily be vegan without the cream and bacon, and would still be amazing.
Dani Z. November 2, 2015
I made this last night and added in 1/3 cup of Lillet (for sweetness) and fresh dill and crispy bacon on top. Dill and turnips are delicious together!! This is an easy go-to soup for the fall. Loved it!
Sharon January 15, 2015
This sounds absolutely scrumptious! I can't wait to make it for dinner tomorrow. However, I'm going to add a spoon or two of the bacon drippings when I sauté the leeks and turnips, and definitely use the turnip greens (which I love) instead of radish tops. Thanks for this lovely recipe.
Mateo October 20, 2013
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.
CarlaCooks August 17, 2013
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!
chefdianetx April 2, 2013
How many cups of leeks would you think for 3 young ones are?
QueenSashy February 8, 2013
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!
Better T. June 13, 2012
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.
JamesCooper June 11, 2012
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:
dressage101 June 10, 2012
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!
Linda's K. June 10, 2012
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.
Kukla June 8, 2012
Congratulation sdebrango on the CP well deserved! Your soup looks smooth and velvety and sounds very tasty.
fiveandspice June 7, 2012
Yay! So glad this is a CP! It's just a gorgeous soup. Yum!
EmilyC May 24, 2012
This is one beautiful soup, sdebrango. Love, love, love the garnish!
EmilyC June 7, 2012
So happy to see this received a CP!
Bevi May 22, 2012
Beautiful soup!
Fairmount_market May 22, 2012
This sounds delicious with just the right amount of rich flavors.
inpatskitchen May 21, 2012
I sure wish I could get hold of some young turnips...this is right up my alley, cold warm, winter, summer, spring or fall!
em-i-lis May 21, 2012
this looks delicious, sdebrango! yummy!!
em-i-lis June 7, 2012
Huge congrats, Suzanne! I liked this from the get-go!!!
hardlikearmour May 20, 2012
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?
hardlikearmour May 20, 2012
That sound frustrating! I'm glad you prevailed in the end.
boulangere May 20, 2012
You've come up with the one way I may be able to eat radishes in any form. Beautiful!