Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Silken Turnip and Potato Soup (and How To Make Chicken Stock)

Wrinkled old turnips?  Come on down! We love using you in soup!
I read this recipe in The Washington Post and first tried it when the farm share overwhelmed me with turnips provided us with an overabundance of turnips.  My whole family likes this.  I'm happy to make it earlier in the week and serve it the night before Thanksgiving, when I'm busy prepping and don't feel like cooking or eating a heavy meal.
Awaiting the sour cream garnish.

This soup tastes very rich, but it's made without any cream.  In fact, if you use vegetable broth and oil instead of the chicken stock and butter, it would make a vegan offering on your Thanksgiving table.
I don't usually have vegans at my table, so I make chicken stock for the base of this soup.  Whenever I roast a chicken, or pick up a rotisserie chicken at the store, I save the carcass for chicken stock.  Today I grabbed a soup pack and, armed with 1950 Betty Crocker's New Picture Cookbook, made up a batch.

Chicken Stock (adapted from Betty Crocker's New Picture Cookbook, 1950)


  • 1 soup pack (or 1/2 cup each chopped carrot, celery, and onion)
  • 1 leftover carcass from a roasted chicken
  • 5 stems fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed, with papers
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon French thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 3-4 quarts water


  1. Toss (or carefully layer) ingredients in a large (5 quart) crock pot.  
  2. Add water until the ingredients are mostly submerged (3 to 4 quarts).  
  3. Cook on low 6-8 hours.  Strain.  
  4. Pour into quart size jars and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.  Or freeze.  Your choice.

Use 2 jars to make this soup!

Silken Turnip and Potato Soup (adapted from The Washington Post)


  • 1/2 stick butter (4 Tablespoons, I use unsalted but a vegan buttery spread works fine)
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced (I use a Benriner)
  • 4-6 turnips (about 2 pounds), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3-5 potatoes (1/2 to 1 pound), peeled and thinly sliced 
  • 2 quarts chicken stock (use vegetable stock if you prefer)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (I used Kosher)
  • nutmeg (how do you measure when you're microplane grating it? try for 1/2 teaspoon)
  • sour cream (optional, for garnish--my daughter's excellent suggestion)


  1. Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium-low heat.  
  2. Add onions, sauté until translucent, about 10-15 minutes.  
  3. Add turnips, potatoes, and salt.  Stir to combine the veggies with the fat, cover, and sauté another 15 minutes.  Add the stock.  
  4. Simmer 20 minutes or until veggies are soft.  
  5. Puree with an immersion blender, or in batches in a blender or food processor.  
  6. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Serve hot w/ a spoonful of sour cream.

This post was linked with What's In the Box at In Her Chucks and the Wednesday Fresh Foods party at Gastronomical Sovereignty.
Any guesses what I'm doing here?


  1. There is nothing better than onions cooking in a pot of butter. Yum. As for the last picture, you're getting ready to take off in your helicopter, yes?

    1. Actually, onions hanging out in the crock pot would tie with the pot of butter for me, because then I'd have caramelized onions to play with.
      I also love a pile of diced veggies in the pot of butter. An old room mate would do that (with carrots, celery and onions, or onions, pepper, and celery, or spam spam bacon and ham) and even though she'd have no clue what dinner would end up being it smelled great from the start.

      And I'm not in the helicopter, the composting pigs are, silly!

  2. Mmmmm carmelized onions.
    Ready for take off.

    1. I was wandering around the interwebs and saw a recipe for a roasted beet and caramelized onion bruschetta . . . that will become a pizza, I can tell.

  3. We're swimming in an overabundance of turnips here too, and nobody in my house enjoys them. I will try this soup! Thank you.

    1. Annemarie, I confess I took a bag to work the other week and gave them all away. I was glad to have them so well received. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. What a perfect appetizer or light lunch for turkey day and beyond.

    Thanks for sharing and linking up :)

    1. Heather,
      I'm so glad you host such a great resource!

  5. i am SO bookmarking this for when we get bogged down, err, blessed? with a turnip abundance. aye. gotta love the winter CSA.

    Thank you for sharing your post with us at the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up! I look forward to seeing what other seasonal & real/whole food surprises you have for us again this week! xo, kristy

    1. Kristy,
      My CSA has switched from weekly pickups (you get what you get) to biweekly deliveries (where you choose what you want from their menu of items, minimum delivery order needed).
      It's strange to be choosing which CSA produce I want. I feel like saying "oh here's $25 just bring me whatever"!
      Thanks for hosting a wonderful resource!

  6. I made slight additions to the recipe by adding clams. It's like a bisque clam chowder made with turnips, onions and potatoes. Loved it!

    1. Anon,
      Your additions sound terrific to me! I've got some oysters in the freezer, and I bet it would be good with those added as well.
      Thanks for a great idea!