I was a little late off the mark this year. All winter I complained bitterly of the cold, longed for the days when I could pluck tomatoes off the vine again and yet for the first winter in the history of my memory I didn’t make soup, at all, all winter, no soup. What was I thinking?! I don’t even know what I ate for lunch all these months in the back of the garage-style work kitchen, with the doors wide open and the cold air blazing in- but i’m sure it wasn’t soup. Of course last Saturday presented the first true day of spring as far as the sun was concerned (running outside in a tee-shirt- hurrah!) and there I was finally making a decision to post a soup recipe.
So, I’m feeling rather short changed because it was really only a mere three weeks ago that my soup craze started and very swiftly onwards I’ll be putting the pans away and searching my cupboards for a salad bowl. In truth, it wasn’t even me who kicked off the soup mania but a colleague of mine, Allen, who happens to be quite masterful in soups and sauces production. We had ordered turnip greens for a cooking segment and had ended up with a bag of turnips (and when I say bag, I mean 50 some turnips). And so we made soup. Lots of turnip soup, and then this led to potato, corn chowder, chicken and vegetable, cream of asparagus and wild mushroom- just to name a few. I’ve been slurping soup everyday- sometimes twice a day, trying to make up for all this lost time and I still have stacks of containers in my freezer!
It was the turnip soup out of all of them though, that really caught my attention- mostly because I’d never eaten it let alone thought to make it. I was instantly captivated by it’s pure creamy white colour, it’s delicate smooth texture, it’s indisputably alluring scent of butter…..
You see, Allen trained in France and so his soups tend to be of the more luxurious genre and less of the weight watchers. When I stood, mouth gaping at the block of butter he was about to add to the pan he looked back at me quite officially and said: “If you want to eat a salad, eat a salad.” I suggested as kindly as I could muster that maybe, he could cut the amount in half-“I’m not too keen on making a trip to the morgue today for death by butter. Reluctantly, he removed a small part of the butter and so it was, turnip soup a la buerre- and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Based on the soup that Chef Allen made for me- he never wrote down the quantities but I know he used twice the amount of butter that’s listed below. Hurry up! Before it’s too warm!
Makes 1.25 litres/ 5 Cups, Serves 4
3 tbsp of butter (you could use less if you had to, or more if you wanted to.)
1 large leek, white part only, chopped
1 medium sized potato, peeled and chopped into 2.5 cm/1 inch pieces
2 turnips (about 600g in weight), peeled and chopped into 2.5 cm/ 1 inch pieces
375ml/ 1 1/2 cups stock or water with 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
375ml/ 1 1/2 cups milk
Salt and pepper
Snipped chives, to garnish
1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a gentle heat. Add the leak, potato and turnips, stir to combine and cover. Allow to gently sweat in the pan for about 10 minutes, or until softened.
2. Add the liquid, bring to a simmer and simmer gently for about 15 minutes, by which time your potato and turnips should have thickened the cooking liquid and begun to break down. Puree until very smooth- preferably with a powerful liquidiser.
3. Pour soup back into cleaned pot and season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with chives.
Another Recipe to try before the winter ends