Time and time again “turnip” shows up in my search stats far more often than any other vegetable. It’s possible that there are just not that many recipes out there for the lowly turnip. It’s not that scary. I bit plain, maybe, but not scary. This post was first published in 2011 and its steady popularity entitled it to an update.
Take a careful look my friends, this is a turnip.
Note that it is small and round, white with a tint of purple on the stem end. A turnip is different from a rutabaga – which is often confused for a turnip. I don’t have a picture of a rutabaga available to show you – they are large (small head of cabbage large), yellow-flesh, heavy, brownish and usually covered in a thick wax. I have nothing against rutabagas. In fact, I adore them. I have fond memories of sweet mashed rutabaga at our holiday dinner table. Which we called mashed turnip and which is why I feel I need to clarify this for everyone. Turnips and rutabagas are very different vegetables. Turnip is also sweet, but the flesh is usually white and I find has a bit more peppery bite to it. A little more zest. More kick.
And then someone will come along and tell me that they are in fact the same vegetables — just different varieties, and I will tell them that I don’t care. In my mind they are different. And the difference is important.
because look at this pretty soup you can make with a turnip or two…
I adapted this recipe from The Garden of Vegan by Sarah Kramer. I needed to kick it up to suit our taste buds. We like spicy! So I added more seasonings and replaced 1 cup of soy milk with full-fat coconut milk. This soup is pureed after the vegetables are tender so don’t worry about chopping them in uniform pieces, just small enough so they all cook at the same time.
- 2-3 leek, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only) , about 1 cup
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 turnips, peeled and diced, about 3 cups
- 2 large carrot, chopped
- 2 medium potato, roughly chopped – leave the peel on or off, it’s all good
- 1 cups vegetable stock
- 3 cups water (enough to just cover the simmering veggies)
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. old bay seasoning
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne
- 1 tsp. dried dill
- 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
- salt to taste
- In a large soup pot, over medium high heat, sauté leeks in olive oil, until the leeks are soft and fragrant.
- Add the remaining ingredients, all except the coconut milk, to the soup pot and bring to a boil. Use just enough liquid to almost cover the vegetables – adjust as necessary. You can always add more later to the pureed soup to get the consistency you like.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook the vegetables until vegetables are tender - 20-30 minutes. Puree the soup in batches in a high-speed blender, return to the pot, add the coconut milk and heat through. Taste for seasonings and serve. Serves 6-8.