Monday, April 5, 2010
2 Recipe #93: Turnip Soup With Fresh Sage & Marjoram
Something rather remarkable happened today during lunch: I just got Erik, a self-professed turnip-hater, to eat turnips. Of course, he had absolutely no idea what he was eating, because it was in the form of a puréed soup. :) What can I say, I love to fool people into eating their vegetables. :)
The hilarious thing was that I just strolled into the other room, hovered the spoon in front of his mouth, and said, "Here, try this!" before he could think too much about it. :)
He asked, "What is it?!"
"Soup," I replied like a smart aleck, to which he responded, "OK."
And into the gullet it went.
A few seconds later, I inquired, "So how was it?!"
I thought to myself, incredulously, "Wait, did I actually get him to eat turnips?!" (That took a few seconds to process. Haha.)
"Guess what's in it?!" I teased.
"Don't tell me it has mushrooms in it!" (He doesn't like mushrooms very much. :) )
"Does it taste like it has mushrooms in it?" I countered.
"No, I guess not."
Score!!!! At that very moment, somewhere inside my mind, I was doing a gleeful interpretation of the "Snoopy dance." :)
Of course, he still has no idea what's in it, just because I want him to eat it another day for lunch. :) He's still caught in the haze of thinking he likes it just based on taste alone, so why spoil the moment. My triumphant revelation will have to wait another day or two.....
This is proof positive that even the vegetables people say they don't like can be prepared in such a way that they will like them. Don't believe me?! Then try this soup recipe. :)
The trick to the below recipe is the addition of leeks and sage. They are key, because they anchor the recipe, and end up becoming the predominant flavors. :) The turnips are really more of a base than anything else.
The other great thing about this recipe is that it tastes creamy without using a lot of oil or fat.
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 turnips, sliced into 1/2" rounds & then quartered
2 leeks (including greens), chopped into 1/4" rounds
1 large garlic clove, peeled & minced
1 large bay leaf
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. fresh parsley, finely minced
4 large fresh sage leaves, julienned
ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. marjoram
1/4 c. sherry
1 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice (or 2 Tbsp. if you like your soup a bit tangier)
2 c. water
1/4 c. light non-dairy creamer, or plain light/nonfat soymilk (optional)
Directions: In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil on high heat until it sizzles. Turn down heat to medium high, add turnips, leeks, garlic, & bay leaf, and sauté until soft. Season with salt to help the ingredients cook faster. IMPORTANT: Be sure to cook the turnips all the way through; this mellows out the soup considerably. Otherwise, you are going to have a bitter, sharp-tasting soup. Add fresh sage & parsley and cook a few more minutes. Watch pan carefully so that ingredients do not brown or burn. Season with marjoram & black pepper, to taste. Deglaze pan with sherry, and cook until liquid is reduced to a thin layer coating the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat, let cool for a few minutes, & then transfer to blender. Add lemon juice, water, & creamer/soy milk, and pulse until smooth & creamy. Transfer to soup bowls and garnish with small sprigs of parsley.
Chef's Notes: (Update posted on Friday, 4/9/10.) Upon further reflection, I've concluded that this recipe might be even better with the addition of 1 red-skinned potato, diced into cubes, and some light plain soy milk. Both of these ingredients would help to considerably mellow out the potential sharpness of the turnips.