Turnip Potato Soup

An unassuming but surprisingly good soup with turnips, potatoes, chicken stock, butter and onions. Creamy without cream!

Turnip Potato Soup
Elise Bauer

Church book sales are a great way to pick up cookbooks at bargain prices. Ours was last weekend and we found the Food and Wine Magazine's 1999 Annual Cookbook for a dollar. What a deal!

Most of the recipes in the book look ridiculously complicated, taking hours of preparation and needing ingredients that one might have difficulty finding even at Whole Foods.

This one however, is simply turnips, potatoes, onions, stock, and butter. Unassuming, but surprisingly and exceptionally good, especially considering that the main ingredient is turnips.

Turnip Potato Soup
Elise Bauer

Don't get me wrong, I love turnips. I have found however that most people don't.

There's something about the blend of flavors in this soup that take the edge off of the bitter turnip flavor and produces a thick and creamy soup, yet without any cream.

Turnip Potato Soup

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 65 mins
Servings 8 servings

The older the turnip, the longer it takes to cook and the more strongly flavored and bitter it is. Look for small, young turnips, they'll be only slightly bitter and actually quite sweet.


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 4 medium onions, thinly sliced

  • 3 pounds fresh, young turnips, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 1 1/2 pounds Russet baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

  • Salt

  • 6 cups chicken stock

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)


  1. Sauté the onions in butter:

    In a large, heavy, thick-bottomed pot, melt the butter on medium heat until it foams. When the butter foam subsides, add the onions and cook until translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes.

  2. Add turnips, potatoes, salt, cover and cook:

    Add the sliced turnips and potatoes and stir to coat with the butter. Add 2 teaspoons of salt, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the turnips and potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

  3. Add chicken stock:

    Add the chicken stock and increase the heat to bring to a simmer. Cover partially and cook over medium heat until the turnips and potatoes are very tender, about 10 minutes.

  4. Purée the soup:

    Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender until completely smooth. Return the soup to the pot and season with salt and freshly grated nutmeg. Ladle the soup into shallow bowls and garnish with the parsley before serving.

Recipe by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock from Food and Wine Magazine's 1999 Annual Cookbook.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
282 Calories
11g Fat
38g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 282
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 28mg 9%
Sodium 372mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 31mg 154%
Calcium 91mg 7%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 1044mg 22%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.