Five Spice Turnip Soup

April 18, 2015
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Author Notes: Turnips are totally underrated! They are cheap and packed with nutrients, but somehow not as in-fashion as brussel sprouts or kale these days. I hope they make a come back because the turnips make one cup of this soup "High In" fiber, calcium (yup!) and Vitamins A and C. This recipe is a bit indulgent using half-and-half - use low fat or skim milk to cut the

Serves: 4

  • 2 bunches turnips, including greens (about 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 lbs total)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2-3 sprigs plus 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts only, sliced thin
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/8 teaspoon plus a pinch Chinese Five Spice Powder, divided
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half or milk
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut the turnips from the greens and trim each end. Toss with 1 Tbsp EVOO, 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme and 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl. Spread out in a single layer onto a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, turning over at the 10-minute mark, and remove to cool.
  3. Meanwhile in a soup pot, heat leeks, garlic, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder and butter over medium-low heat. Stir every few minutes and make sure the leeks get no brown on them. Cook down until turnips are ready, about 15-20 minutes total.
  4. When turnips are done, discard the thyme sprigs and add them to the leeks. Add the potatoes, stock and half-and-half as well. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes until the potatoes are very soft.
  5. Meanwhile, remove the stems from the turnip greens and chop coarsely. In a skillet over medium heat, add remaining 1/2 Tbsp EVOO. When the EVOO is hot, add greens, 1/2 tsp chopped thyme and a pinch of Chinese Five Spice Powder. Cook the greens down until tender and remove from the heat.
  6. Remove the soup from the heat and puree in batches in a blender or food processing until very smooth. BE CAREFUL WITH HOT LIQUIDS! Strain through a colander or chinoise and add the vinegar. Adjust any seasonings and serve hot with a portion of greens on top.

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