Turnip & pecan soup

Turnip & pecan soup

I think if turnips were people, they’d have a good sense of humor. They’d be sweet, but they wouldn’t be universally popular, because that sweetness would be hidden under a fairly sharp sarcastic edge. Now that I’ve personified turnips, I’m going to tell you how I chopped them up and ate them! Mwah ha ha ha!!

It might sound odd, but whenever I feel physically or emotionally low, I start to crave turnips. They’re not a traditionally comforting food, I don’t think, because of their edginess, but they always sound good to me when I’m not feeling well. Usually in soup form. So that’s what I made. This soup is simple but nice. The star of the show is the turnips, but there’s a pleasant nuttiness from the pecans, and a freshness from the parsley. It’s fairly easy to make – it has plenty of flavor without a broth, so you don’t have to take the time to prepare that.

To make it ultimately comforting, you’d serve it with cheese toasts made with sharp cheddar. We had a lot of leftover pizza to get through, so the toasts felt redundant, but I grated some sharp cheddar in mine, and it was very tasty!

Here’s Nina Simone with Nina’s Blues. One of my favorite songs ever. Why? Because it’s a little bit like turnips. Suprisingly comforting. She’s not doing well (she plans to lay her head on a railway track) but in the end she triumphantly declares that the sun will shine in her back door some day. Ba da ba!!

2 T butter (use olive oil if you’re vegan!)
1 shallot finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 t fresh thyme (or 1 t dried)
1 t dijon mustard
1 t honey
1/3 cup white wine
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup parsley, roughly chopped
1 t balsamic
salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

Warm the butter in a medium sized soup pot over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic and thyme, and cook till things start to brown. Add the white wine, mustard and honey and cook till you have a thick syrupy sauce. Add the turnips. Stir to coat, and cook till they’re starting to soften. Maybe five minutes.

Meanwhile, in a nearby blender, combine the pecans with about 1/2 a cup of water and blend till fairly smooth. Pour this into the turnip mixture. Stir and cook through. Add about 2 more cups of water, till you have it just about as brothy as you like it. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the turnips are quite soft, 20 minutes maybe.

Add parsley, balsamic and salt and pepper.

Blend, carefully in small batches till you have the smoothness you like. You can leave some of it chunky, too, if you like it that way. Return to the pot and warm up, adding water if it got too thick for you.

Serve with cheese toasts or grated sharp cheddar, if you like.


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