Turnip Potato Soup


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

Photography Credit: 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.

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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

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 Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8

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 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 pounds fresh, young turnips, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds of Russet baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 6 Cups of chicken stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp 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.

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

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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16 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Andie

    Can you freeze this soup?

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Marina

    I made this recipe twice and I really enjoyed it both times! I could eat the whole pot by myself. Hahaha. The first time I made it I added small chunk of goat cheese to my bowl for some tang and it was scrumptious!.


  3. Pam Knight

    Very nice! I was thirteen ounces shy of turnips so I went long on the potatoes, and it’s still very good! Thank you! You are my go-to kitchen guru…:)


  4. Sarah

    Just made this soup and we love it! Such a great way to utilize the turnips we get from our CSA.

  5. Grossvater

    Made this soup this morning and it was very good. I’ll make it again
    Next time I’ll try it with a few cloves of minced garlic added

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