I have lots of turnips still standing in the garden, the last of the winter vegetables. They are fantastic things, yellow and spicy and fresh after a long winter. My only gripe about turnips is finding ways to cook them. Usually I mash them with potatoes, or, more recently, I have been dicing them and roasting them for 20 minutes in olive oil and pepper. Tonight I discovered why I had found so little in the way of recipes in my books and on the web: the English think they are swedes, and the French and the Americans seem to think they are called Rutabagas. Anyway, no matter what they are called, tonight I tried out this soup. It is from Lindsey Bareham’s incomparable recipe book, ‘A Celebration of Soup’.
- 75g organic butter
- 2-3 shallots, finely chopped,
- A bunch of parsley
- 450g diced turnip (about one large, or 2 small), home grown
- salt and pepper
- 1.1 litres of rich stock (I used some game stock, but ‘Marigold’ stock is fine
- A pinch of saffron, if available (optional)
- 100ml double cream
- Heat the butter in a large pan, and soften the shallots in the butter for about five minutes
- Add the parsley stalks (or dried herbs, if fresh parsley is scarce) and the turnip along with a pinch of salt. Stir, and make sure everything gets well coated in butter.
- Cover the pan and simmer on low for about fifteen minutes.
- At this stage, the turnip is tender and sweet and could be served as a vegetable dish in its own right.
- For to make the soup, add the stock and saffron, bring to the boil, and simmer for 30 minutes
- Blend the soup with a soup wand, and reheat.
- To serve, whisk the cream with the finely chopped parsley, and swirl into the soup.
I served it with brown toast. However, you could make croutons, and the book suggests polenta chips: small slivers of cooked polenta, coated in oil and grilled to create a crunchy exterior. Very good indeed.