Well it is nearly the end of May, but you’d never have known it last week in the Midwest. We were all “enjoying” Blackberry Winter. When I was a little girl, my grandma used to talk about Blackberry Winter because it meant a cold snap in mid-spring could jeopardize some of the tender shoots coming up in her garden, but it also had a plus side—it meant wild blackberry bushes were starting to bud. My grandma’s blackberry cobblers were… well… their luscious flavor really defied words. Since blackberries are quite a ways off, however, it’s hard to appreciate this seasonal phenomenon when my house was a damp 60 degrees most mornings last week. So I turned to soup for solace—turnip soup, to be specific.
I just love turnips, and I think they are very much under-appreciated. They show up in the early spring, hang around for quite a while and usually make a second appearance in the fall around here. They are a cool-weather cousin to cabbage and kale, very low in calories and packed with nutrition. Plus, they have added value in their greens, which provide even more nutrition than the turnip itself.
Turnips sauté, mash, roast and cream with ease. Their greens go in my salads, stir-frys and soups. Yet, say “turnip” to somebody and the most you get is an “eh.” Many people think they are boring or “too earthy” or flavorless. All wrong. And I can prove it with the following recipe for Curried Cream of Turnip Soup, an easy-to-prepare, vegan bowl of rich flavor and powerful nutrition.
My husband says the soup is great topped with bacon… yeah, well. I used thin little red radish slices to top mine. To be honest, I chose them for the color and appearance, not really thinking they’d taste all that great on the soup. However, they really tasted good! They added crunch and a tiny bit of sweetness on top of the savory curry flavor. Hope you give it a try.
- One tablespoon coconut oil
- One large yellow onion, chopped
- Four large garlic cloves, minced
- Two to three medium carrots, sliced
- Five medium turnips, peeled and diced (I don’t normally peel most vegetables because I buy organic and much of a vegetable's nutrition is in its skin; however, turnips have a tough outer skin that can be quite fibrous and is best removed.)
- Two teaspoons curry powder (I used heaping teaspoons.)
- One-quarter teaspoon turmeric
- Four cups vegetable stock (If you are not vegetarian, you might try chicken stock.)
- One 15-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
- Two teaspoons lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and a sprinkle of sea salt. Sauté until soft and translucent, about three minutes.
- Add the carrots, turnips, curry powder and turmeric. Add a sprinkle more salt, but not too much because your curry powder may contain salt. Continue to sauté for about three minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook until vegetables are soft, about 45 minutes.
- Puree the soup with your emulsion wand or in the jar of your blender. Return the puree to your pot. Add the coconut milk and lemon juice. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste; heat through and serve.
This soup is just as yummy cold as it is warm. So enjoy it all summer, as long as the turnips turn up.
So what’s your favorite turnip recipe? Let us know!
Save the Date!
June 26, 2016 is the date for “Know Your Grower Farm Tour” in my neck of the woods. You can spend a day touring the farms of some of your favorite Land of Goshen Community Market vendors. I say this so often, but it is so true: knowing who grows your food and how they do it gives you not only helpful information on staying healthy but connects you to the Earth and to your community in a deep and significant way. A farm tour is a wonderful way to introduce your children to the science, ecology, responsibility and pride that has always been part of small-farm America.