It’s a cool crisp afternoon here in New York, the perfect time to make a puréed soup. Since I’m such a big fan of root vegetables, I’m using one of my favorites: turnips. When I used to work at Union Square Café one of their famed side dishes was mashed turnips with crispy shallots, and this is inspired from that. Grab a bottle of wine, a baguette and enjoy.
1 ½ cup of light olive or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons butter
2 leeks, thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
5 yellow turnips (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 medium potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
5 cups chicken broth (you may use more)
1 3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup whipping cream
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Make the crispy shallots
Slice the shallots crosswise into very thin rings. In a saucepan, heat the oil with the butter over medium-low heat until it begins to bubble. Reduce the heat to low, add the shallots and cook until they are a rich golden brown, about 30-40 minutes. Stir the shallots occasionally while they are cooking to make sure they brown evenly. Remove the shallots from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Once the shallots have dried and crisped, in about 15 minutes, they can be stored in a cool place, covered, for several days. Serve the shallots at room temperature.
Make the soup
Melt butter in heavy large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks and onion and sauté until onion is translucent, about 12 minutes. Add 5 sliced turnips and potato and sauté 2 minutes. Add 5 cups broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Puree soup in blender in batches until very smooth or use this KitchenAid Hand BlenderReturn to Dutch oven. Add milk and cream. Bring to simmer. Season to taste with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Garnish with crispy shallots.
Soup can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.