A recipe for turnip soup may sound like torture or a bad joke, but with the addition of apples, elderflowers, and a bit of maple syrup, the dreaded turnip can become something delicious and comforting.
This turnip soup recipe is a beauty, so easy to make and, even though it's both dairy-free and gluten-free, full of flavor.
It's nice served hot or cold and looks beautiful topped with fresh elderflowers, fresh lemon thyme leaves, and chopped toasted hazelnuts. It's great for lunch with buttered toast soldiers or a grilled cheese sandwich or as a starter for dinner with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese, some herbed croutons, or a pile of crispy fried onions.
Turnip Soup Recipe with Apples, Elderflowers, and Maple Syrup
Turnips have often received a bad rap for being bitter or too strong, but this usually happens with old turnips or ones that are extra big. Avoid that bitterness by choosing small, fresh turnips and combining them with soothing and slightly sweet ingredients.
Trim and peel the turnips and cut them into small pieces so they break down quickly and blend well with the other soup ingredients.
Potatoes and apples are the two ingredients that make a huge difference in this turnip soup. The potatoes balance out the harshness of the turnips while the apples provide a foil for any lingering bitterness. Like the turnips, peel and cut the potatoes and apples into small pieces before cooking.
The addition of herbs to soup always makes them taste and smell wonderful. This recipe for turnip soup calls for two herbs: lemon thyme leaves and elderflowers.
Lemon thyme's earthiness goes beautifully with the turnips and potatoes while the elderflowers are an ideal accompaniment for the apples. The thyme is also excellent for soothing sore throats while elderflowers add Vitamin C, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties to a soup that is already nourishing to the body and spirit.
Salt and pepper are ubiquitous additions to a pot of homemade soup, but maple syrup is an unusual one that may seem odd but is actually a quite delectable addition. The warm, mellow flavor of real maple syrup adds a lovely, sweet, richness to this soup.
How to Serve this Turnip Soup
While this turnip soup recipe is just fine on its own, the addition of a few toppings makes it extra special.
Fresh elderflowers look lovely scattered across the surface, while the green lemon thyme leaves are a welcome burst of color in an otherwise rather bland and pale-looking soup.
Those two toppings are an extension of ingredients in the soup itself, but the third topping stands apart. Roasted hazelnuts, chopped into rough chunks, add a wonderful texture with a delightful crunch and earthy toastiness that blends well with the other ingredients.
Once the soup is poured, decorated, and served, it's nice to include a few other additions for diners to choose from. These additions not only add flavor and interest but also turn a light bowl of soup into something a bit more substantial.
A bowl of grated Parmesan or goat's cheese crumbles are good for those who can eat dairy, either crispy bacon bits or prosciutto slivers for the meat lovers, and another with toasted pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, or sunflower seeds will suit anyone.
When choosing a tea blend to accompany a bowl of turnip soup, draw on the soup ingredients for inspiration. Apples and elderflowers will go well with this meal, and you'll find them in our Apple Cinnamon Warmth black tea, Evening in the Garden herbal tea, and Spicy Caramel Apple Cinnamon herbal tea.
Recipe for Turnip Soup with Apples, Elderflowers and Maple Syrup
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup dried elderflowers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- 3 turnips, peeled and diced
- 3 potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 1 sprig lemon thyme, leaves stripped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon real maple syrup
- Lemon thyme and elderflowers for garnish
In small saucepan, bring 2 cups broth to the boil then remove from heat. Stir in elderflowers and set aside to steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain.
In large soup pot over medium heat, add olive oil and onion. Cook 3-5 minutes or until onions begin to soften but not brown.
Add turnips, potatoes, apples, remaining broth (4 cups), lemon thyme leaves, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
Raise heat to medium-high and bring to the boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes until vegetables are soft.
Remove from heat and stir in elderflower-infused broth and maple syrup.
Pour carefully into blender and pulse until smooth.
Divide into soup bowls and top with lemon thyme leaves and fresh elderflowers.