Monday, February 14, 2011

Potato and Turnip Soup AKA "Neeps and Tatties Soup"

I had to skip to the picture of the soup right away. Keep reading!
Eating locally in the middle of February can be a challenge, but with the help of Boston Organics' Dogma Box, it's far from impossible. It's actually pretty amazing how they can manage to deliver my box of organic, locally sourced produce when there's shoulder-high piles of snow on the ground! I give them a ton of credit for sourcing delicious veggies from farmers throughout the northeast, but if it weren't for cookbook authors like Anna Thomas, I'd probably end up composting 1/2 of the veggies that get delivered, because I've never cooked many of the varieties that arrive! 
Turnips!
My last two deliveries have included several types of turnips. Other than roasting them with other root veggies, I didn't know quite what to do with these over-sized radishy things. But you can make soup out of any veggie, right? RIGHT! I found the perfect recipe in Anna Thomas' Love Soup, which I of course adapted to my tastes and refrigerator stock. Here's the result:
Is this a Rutabegas? If so, I included one of those!
Ingredients:
2 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
1 lb turnips, peeled and cubed
1 leek, white and light green part, sliced and rinsed
1 yellow onion, chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tb butter (olive oil will work, too, but I suggest butter!)
2 tsp dried thyme (or 1 tsp fresh thyme)
8 cups vegetable broth
1-2 tsp sea/kosher salt (sea salt is saltier!)
1/3 c fresh (or frozen) chopped parsley


Tip: Peel Turnips with a Pairing Knife
Put potatoes, turnips, 1 tsp sea salt, and vegetable broth (add water or more broth if needed to cover) into a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, stir, and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook until turnips and potatoes are tender (aprox 20-30 minutes).
Turnips and Potatoes into the Pot!
1/2 Gal of Home-made Veggie Broth
While potatoes and turnips are simmering, melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add leeks, onions, thyme, and 1 tsp kosher salt and saute over medium heat, stirring every couple minutes. When they start to brown, add the garlic, and continue to saute for several more minutes, stirring and lowering heat if necessary.

Once they're slightly browned and the potatoes and turnips are fork tender (go ahead and eat a few to test), stir the onion/leek mixture into the soup along with freshly ground black pepper to taste. 
Stir Sauted Onions, Leeks, Garlic & Thyme into Soup. Add Freshly Ground Black Pepper.
Chopped Fresh Frozen Parsley!
You can either stir the fresh chopped parsley into the soup or garnish each bowl with about a tablespoon of the pretty green stuff for a fresh finish.

If you want a richer soup, you can stir about a tablespoon of cream into each bowl. Heavy, Light, or Half and Half all work, so use what suits your taste or what you have on hand.

If you want a thicker soup rather than a brothy one, you can blend for about a minute with an immersion blender. Or, you can blend the entire soup if you prefer a smooth soup. It will taste great no matter what! 
Stir in a drizzle of cream (light, heavy, or 1/2 and 1/2) if you want a richer soup