Turnips have always been one of my favorite vegetables, but sometimes I’m stumped on how to pair them with other ingredients. This root vegetable soup was a game changer. It’s thick and hearty, with a chowder like texture, all thanks to the silky smooth amazingness of vegetables.
I love a good roasted root vegetable, but this soup is even simpler than that. Just sweat some onions and garlic in olive oil, add a few spices, and then simmer it with root vegetables and broth. In this case, the veggies I recommend are parsnip, turnip, and carrot – in about equal quantities. You can mix and match other vegetables too – I’ve swapped in celeriac before, for example – but be sure to use at least one sweeter veggie like carrot or sweet potato to keep the flavors balanced.
Turnips and cauliflower are both cruciferous vegetables, which means that (1) they’re super nutritious but also (2) they have sharp, peppery and slightly sulfuric notes. The complement those flavors and create a well-rounded soup, I add mustard and a little bit of horseradish. They give this dish a unique and satisfying taste.
The thick and creamy texture that you see in the photos comes completely from the vegetables themselves, especially the cauliflower. Transferring about half of the soup to a blender and returning it to the pot results in a perfect little bowl of chowder. (I don’t recommend an immersion blender for this soup, because you’ll end up in a no man’s land between chunky and creamy).
We almost always bake up a loaf of garlic bread to pair with this root vegetable soup, but if you’re looking for other ways to turn it into a light meal, try adding (after blending) some cooked barley or rice.
The wait is over for a way to use up those extra turnips sitting in your fridge! (Does anyone else have those?) Try this root vegetable chowder, and let me know in the comments what you thought of it!
Root Vegetable Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow or white onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 head cauliflower cut into small florets (12 oz of florets)
- 2 carrots peeled and cubed (6oz / about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 large turnip (6oz / about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 large parsnip peeled and cubed (4oz / about 1 cup)
- 1 tbsp prepared horseradish
For the spice blend (see notes):
- 1 1/2 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp fennel seed crushed or roughly chopped
- 1/8 tsp celery seed
- Prep the vegetables and mix all of the spices together in a small bowl. This will ensure that they're ready when you need them, because that part of the recipe moves quickly.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook until softened, stirring frequently, 4-6 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic, stir, and cook for 60 seconds. Add all of the spices and cook for 30-60 seconds more, until fragrant.
- Add the vegetable broth and all of the vegetables to the pot, and stir well. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and simmer for about 15-17 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the horseradish.
- Scoop about half of the soup into a blender, and blend until smooth (be careful - it will be hot! Give it a minute to let it cool if needed.) Return the blended soup to the pot and stir to combine. At this point, if desired you can either thin the soup out with more water, or thicken the soup by simmering it on low heat with no lid, stirring frequently.
- Serve hot, with croutons, garlic bread, or something else crunchy. Leftovers keep for up to a week in the fridge. This root vegetable soup freezes well for a few weeks too, if needed.
Adapted from Purple Carrot.
Other hearty soups from the site!