When I saw this beautiful bunch of fresh Hakurei turnips at the store, I immediately grabbed it, as they are not always available. These turnips are quite different from the more known ones: they have finer texture, a delicate sweetish peppery-mustardy flavor and milder aroma.
While these turnips can be eaten raw, greens included, I still prefer to lightly cook them as a side dish, or, as you can see in this recipe, to cook them into a tasty soup.
As the weather is cooler now, I wanted a soup that has more body to it, so decided to add some chicken and beef to it, as I didn’t have ready stock at hand.
In order to enhance the mustardy-peppery flavor, and add a nice aroma to the soup, I added some fresh ginger, onions and herbs to the pot. Seasoning with a bit of soy sauce, mustard and honey, added another layer of flavors. Once the chicken and beef were removed, I blended the soup, and then thickened it a bit with semolina. The soup was hearty, yet not too heavy, which worked well as a first course for dinner. Try it and enjoy.
* I used chicken wings simply because I didn’t have chicken bones at hand. The wings ended up glazed with sweet-spicy pepper sauce (click HERE for the recipe) and made a nice quick lunch the next day.
* If the amount seems too large for your needs, bear in mind that the soup freezes well.
* The fresh ginger I used here was bought in season, peeled and frozen. If using older ginger, finely grate it rather than chop it.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
1 bunch (mine had 6), baby Hakurei turnips, with their greens
2 stalks celery, coarsely cut
3 Tbs fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (see notes)
3-4 bay leaves
3-4 dried sage leaves
3-4 basil leaves, chopped
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 medium shallot, roughly chopped
1 large garlic, roughly chopped
1.4 lbs (650 gram) chicken wings (see notes)
4 oz (115 grams) beef steak (I used sirloin tip)
2 Tbs salt
1 Tbs honey
1 Tbs soy sauce
½ tsp freshly grounded four peppers mix
¼ tsp mustard powder
1 tsp Dijon mustard
About 10 cups water
¼ cup fine semolina
1. Separate the greens from the turnips, place them in the sink and wash thoroughly. Cut off the turnips tops quarter them (no need to peel). Keep a few leaves and half a turnip on the side, for serving, and cut the rest coarsely.
Place in a large pot and add all the rest of ingredients, except for the semolina.
2. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook, mixing occasionally, for 50 minutes.
3. Take off the heat. Discard the bay leaves, chicken and meat. Blend with a hand blander to a smooth soup. Taste and adjust seasoning.
4. Bring again to a boil, over medium-high heat. While stirring, sprinkle the semolina over. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, until the soup thickens a bit.
5. Serve warm, garnished with sliced turnip and a chiffonade of turnip leaves.