In-Season Eats: Creamy Turnip Soup
In-Season Eats: Creamy Turnip SoupJanuary 18, 2012
Between April and December, the highlight of each week is picking up my bag of farm-fresh CSA produce from the folks at Rosebank Farm in Johns Island, SC. Before I even get back to the car, I’m rummaging and sniffing around to see what I have to work with. Then I call my husband to describe the loot (he pretends, at least, to be as excited about bok choy as I am). Although the farmer’s market and CSA season is done, I’m making a serious effort to continue cooking with as much fresh in-season produce as possible. This week’s obsession is sweet, earthy turnips.
Foodie historians believe turnips arrived in Virginia with colonists in the 1600s. The cruciferous bulbs peak between October and March and are extremely versatile. They can be pickled, boiled and mashed like a potato, made into French fries, or even served raw in a salad.
Photo: Andrew Stephen Cebulka
But my favorite turnip recipe is this comforting winter soup. Look for smaller turnips that feel heavy (the larger ones tend to be “woody”). And don’t throw out the greens! Reserve those babies for another use. They’re delicious.
Creamy Turnip Soup
From Holly Herrick’s Southern Farmers Market Cookbook
1 head roasted garlic
4 cup white turnips, trimmed, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, cut into 8 wedges
4 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper
½ tsp ground nutmeg
2 slices prosciutto, cut into thin strips at 1-inch lengths
1/4 cup crème fraiche or whole cream
Wrap garlic in foil and roast at 425 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out soft pulp by pressing blade of a knife against the bulb to release the roasted flesh; discard papery casings. Place garlic, turnips, onions, and stock in large saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 to 45 minutes. Puree until smooth with an immersion blender or food processor. Return soup to pan. Add nutmeg, prosciutto, and crème fraiche. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, stirring to blend. Garnish with freshly chopped green onions and serve immediately with crusty bread and a simple salad
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