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Food Friday: Delicious Turnip Soup


Summary: Turnip is a wonderful root for its medicinal smoky smell and flavor for cold weather. Azadeh tell us how to make a delicious root soup using Turnip.

Turnip is a root vegetable that has been around since Middle Ages. Despite their long presence, the white turnips are not as common in culinary use as one would like. But the partially purple bulb of this root vegetable is high in water content as well as vitamin C, making it a perfect vegetable for the Fall season when colds and flus are in full swing.

Due to its strong woody smell and flavor, some may shy away from consuming it. However, it has been long praised for its natural medicinal effect in the Persian cuisine. Traditionally, small turnips are steam cooked to full tenderness and then cosumed with a pinch of salt as a snack especially to treat common colds. They are equally effective when used in combination with other ingredients such as the ones used in the following soup recipe.

When shopping for turnips, it is best to select the ones that have less blemish on the skin. If using small turnips, they can be consumed without peeling the skin. Wash them and cut off the green end part.


Prep time: 15 min.                      

Cook time: 1 hr 30 min.           

Ready in: roughly 2 hr.

Level: Easy                                    

Serves: 4



3 medium turnips, washed

½ lb. chicken breast or drumstick

1 medium onion, peeled and silvered

1 cup grated Golden potatoes

1 cup grated carrots

½ cup Dall (red) lentils, washed and sorted for debris, soaked

½ cup (basmati or brown) rice, soaked

16 oz. tomato paste

¼ cup chopped cilantro and parsley (each)

Salt and pepper to taste

Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste



1- Place the turnips, chicken, potato and carrots in a deep pot and cover with enough water, about 2 liters. Bring to a boil over high heat. Then turn down the heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes.


2- Drain the water from the soaked lentils. Add to the pot. Rub the soaked rice grains against each other to break them into smaller pieces. This will help the rice to cook faster as well as giving a more consistent look to the soup in line with other ingredients. Drain the water and add the rice to the pot. From here on, it is important to check on the soup and stir it frequently. Otherwise the heavier ingredients like rice and lentil will sink at the bottom of the pot. Let the rice and lentils cook for another 30 minutes.


3- When the turnips are tender to the touch of a fork, remove them from the soup. Mash the turnips in a bowl with a potato masher or using a food processor. Then return to the soup. Remove the chicken to cool off before shredding it.


4- Mix the tomato paste with some warm water in a bowl to thin it out. When smoothed, add it to the soup. Then add the shredded chicken and stir the soup.


5- At this point the soup is fully cooked. Add the chopped parsley and cilantro 15 minutes before serving the soup to preserve their color and nutrition. Add salt and pepper to taste. Running a few pulse with a stick mixer will give the soup a smoother texture and creamier look.


6- The turnip soup is ready. Serve the soup hot with a generous amount of freshly squeezed lemon juice along with some of your favorite toasted bread. I added some homemade multigrain croutons for an added crunch. Noosh-e jān!