by Andrea Bemis
What I love the most about the spring is the first harvest of some of my favorite vegetables that I have missed dearly during the long dark winter. Some of the best recipes I make come to me during our morning harvest at the farm. This spring turnip soup with garlic chickpea croutons is a great example of that.
Grab a spoon and dig in!
Spring Turnip Soup with Garlic Chickpea Croutons
Serves 4 to 6.
For the garlic chickpea croutons:
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (if from a can: rinsed, drained, and patted dry)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of fine sea salt
For the soup:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large leeks, diced, white and light green parts only
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 medium-sized turnips, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large russet potato, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon paprika
5-6 cups vegetable stock (plus more if needed)
Salt and pepper, to taste
To make the chickpea croutons, preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, toss the chickpeas with the garlic powder, olive oil, and salt. Spread in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in the oven until golden and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. Toss the chickpeas halfway through cooking time. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
To make the soup, heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add the turnips, potatoes, thyme and paprika. Stir until the vegetables and spices are combined. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.
Puree the soup with an immersion blender (or carefully transfer the soup to a high speed blender and puree). Add more stock or water if soup is too thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, lade soup into each bowl and top with garlic chickpea croutons and a pinch more of salt and pepper if needed.