Turnip Silk Soup

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Ben Gebo Photography

STRATEGY SESSION: Low-glycemic turnips star in this recipe. They’re rich in fiber and anti-oxidants, low in calories and fat. I further limit calories, total fat, and saturated fat  by using light silken tofu for creaminess and body instead of heavy cream. Then, instead of cooking the aromatics in pure butter, I substitute a 50-50 blend of butter and macadamia nut oil, the healthiest of all non-olive culinary oils. 100% butter marginally improves the flavor and adds only 1 gram of saturated fat per serving.

As you may know from previous posts, my husband and I frequently disagree on cooking matters. The last time a soup wasn’t smooth enough for him, I threatened to puree all of his food. In this particular case, he got his way: a bowl of turnip silk- sophisticated and elegant.

I have a dirty little secret, however: When I make it for myself, I process the tofu in a blender with about 1/3 of the veggies and liquid. Then I return the mixture to the pot and use a potato masher to break up the remaining turnips without pulverizing them altogether. I love the chunky texture. Occasionally, I brown some turkey kielbasa and throw that in as well. The result is a homely but delicious rustic soup that makes this peasant happy. Try it both ways.

Special Thanksgiving heads-up: I’m posting this recipe now because, in its elegant form, it makes an appealing, easy, make-ahead appetizer. It also fosters ”stealth health” because it’s filling and leaves less room for the richest components of the dinner. If you prepare the soup in advance, it’s best to reheat in the microwave. The tofu may become grainy if you boil it.

Note: I prefer beef broth in this soup, but it certainly can be made with chicken or vegetable broth. Click here if you’re interested in the back story on Macomber Turnips.

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  • November 28 2010, 9:26 AM
    Karen Smith

    Hi Deborah:
    What a wonderful blog and website. Years ago I purchased your cookbook and have been looking since to see if you would put out a second book. This website and your recipes are just fantastic. Looking forward to regular visits! Karen

  • November 28 2010, 10:08 AM

    Hello, Karen. Thanks for your kind words. I’m so glad you found your way to my site. You may recognize a few of the recipes (several in revised form), although most of the material is new. I send out an e-mail newsletter that announces each week’s recipe, and- if you want that sort of notification you can subscribe to in the lower right hand corner of my home page.
    Best wishes,

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