This recipe is an update of a favorite recipe from my book Vegan Soul Kitchen. This soup is very nurturing and, dare I say, healing. During winter months, if I’m feeling a cold creeping on, I make this soup and take it easy, and typically bounce back. I don’t get caught up in monitoring nutrients and micronutrients, but turnips are rich in fiber, vitamins K, A, C, E, and B, and minerals like manganese, potassium, and copper. Turnips also aid in digestion and have a number of immune-boosting benefits. I call for young (or baby) turnips since they are tender, mild, and slightly sweet. If you can’t find them, four large ones that have been peeled will suffice (you might need to buy the greens separately since bigger turnips are often sold pre-trimmed). While roasting tenderizes and draws out the natural sweetness of baby turnips, it also mellows the bitterness of larger ones. In the end, the combination of tender vegetables and a complex and flavorful broth makes this a satisfying soup.
2 bunches young/baby turnips with greens (about 2 pounds)
3 shallots, cut into ¼-inch rounds
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon minced garlic
6 cups rich vegetable stock
2 thyme sprigs
Freshly ground white pepper
Apple cider or other vinegar
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Separate the turnips and the turnip greens; set the greens aside. Cut the turnips into ½-inch pieces and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the shallots, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt and toss to combine. Spread the turnips and shallots over the prepared baking sheet and roast for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes to ensure even cooking.
While the turnips are roasting, trim the tough stems from the greens and discard. Chop the greens into bite-size pieces, rinse well, and drain.
In a large saucepan, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and the garlic and sauté over medium heat until the garlic is fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the greens and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Sauté the greens, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the stock to the saucepan and set aside.
When the turnips are finished roasting, transfer them to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 20 minutes, adding the thyme in the last 2 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
To serve, ladle the soup into warm bowls and drizzle with vinegar to your liking.