Thursday, November 10, 2011

Creamy turnip soup: a recipe

Creamy turnip soup
Regular readers here will know this is the time of year that I get a little soup crazy, given the onset of cool weather.

Although yesterday's 70 degrees was a bit confusing. Don't get me wrong, I'll take it, but it made it feel less like a soup day.

While menu-planning this week, I decided I want to add a new soup to the rotation, so I got my copy of The New York Times Cookbook (TNYTC) -- the old, Craig Claiborne one, not the new, Amanda Hesser one.

Funny story behind this one -- I bought the TNYTC in my early twenties as part of one of those 12-books-for-a-penny clubs. You remember those, like Columbia House was for music. Do those even exist anymore? Regardless, it seemed like a good value. But this is when I had no idea how to cook. Therefore, I was actually disappointed when I got the book because the recipes seemed way too complicated for someone who was just learning to master pan-frying a chicken breast.

So it sat on my bookshelf for years before I opened it again.

I'm starting to rediscover it and have already flagged a whole bunch of recipes that I'd like to try. I'm glad I held on to .

But now back to the soup.

I was intrigued by a recipe for turnip soup, as they are in season now and it seemed like an unusual choice for soup. Carrot? Sure. Squash? Please -- it's everywhere. Turnip? Nope, I've not seen that on a menu recently.

I modified Claiborne's recipe and the result was thrilling. Really. It was ridiculously easy and fast to prepare and the flavor is excellent: earthy and peppery while still creamy and filling.

Can't you just see this as a starter course for Thanksgiving?

Creamy Turnip Soup (adapted from Craig Claiborne's The New York Times Cookbook)

2 1/2 cups peeled and diced turnips (about 3 medium)
4 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup low-fat half-and-half
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste

Bring the stock to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Add the turnips and cook until very fork-tender (about 8-10 minutes). Using an immersion blend, puree until smooth. Stir in the half-and-half and add salt and pepper to taste. Heat for a few more minutes, then remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolk and butter. Serve immediately.

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