Pink Turnips

It is getting to be pasties season again! Simply because rutabagas are in season I suppose. That and fall seems like the perfect time for a hearty meat pie. And lastly we celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary this month and have happy memories of pasty eating in Mackinac City on our honeymoon.

With the intent of making pasties I went to the local farmers market to see if there were any rutabagas to be had. Apparently they aren't quite as popular as other things, and with a full truck they had been left behind that day. But since I was there I picked up some pink turnips instead. It had been a crazy day at work. Market closes at 3 and I barely got away before then so most everything was packed up when I arrived. But there sat the pretty turnips that hadn't been loaded back into the truck yet. Five years ago I was perfectly happy subsisting on cheese and crackers and nachos. But my husband loves cooking and good food so hooking up with him has broadened my horizons considerably. My mother was wonderful about letting her children make messes in the kitchen so I have always thought myself a good cook, but again, since meeting my husband I have aspired to be even better. I love trying new things now! And pink turnips seemed like just the thing. So I bought them.

With the internet the world is literally at your fingertips. All you have to do is type "pink turnip recipe” and the options are limitless. I found this little gem and I am in love:

I am my mother's daughter, so I cannot ever *quite* follow a recipe exactly. I used the amounts and ingredients that made sense to me/I had access to. And I always at least double the amount garlic I find in any recipe as we LOVE garlic. I reined myself in on this one a tiny bit, as there are a lot of delicate flavors in this soup and I didn't want the garlic to overwhelm everything else. Here are my alterations: 

2 Tbs olive oil
1 leek, white part only, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium fennel bulb, diced
4 baby pink or white turnips, cubed (I saved 1/2 to grate as a garnish so only 3 & 1/2 went into the pot)
5 small Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
4 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 C packed watercress
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 small lemon, zested

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced leek, garlic, and fennel. Add a pinch of salt and cook for 3 minutes or until soft and translucent. *Do not brown* Add the turnips, potato, and chicken stock. Bring to a light simmer, then cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the watercress and cook for 1 more minute. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lemon zest. Puree the soup in a blender. Garnish and serve!

You will note that the pictures on taken by the blog I adapted this recipe from are gorgeous! And if you have time for such things, more power to you. But with our home renovation project, it was past midnight by the time we sat down to eat so grated turnips was as good as it was going to get. That said, I was afraid they might be too strong in flavor or too hard in texture but they actually added the perfect finishing touch. The Yukon Gold potatoes give it almost a buttery texture/flavor and the turnips saturate it with fall happiness.

Enjoy!

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