Thanksgiving soups are erring on the butternut squash side this season. I thought it might be nice to try something different…

Turnip ginger soup with ham

Turnip and ginger are magical together and I make a foam at work to go alongside monk fish that has this combonation. I find myself tasting the foam over and over throughout the day. And finally the idea hit: why not just make it into a soup at home and slurp it up at leisure?

This soup has lots of enticing layers; it’s earthy, sweet, spicy, smokey, and a little bitter with the greens.

The recipe is simple and can be made the day before. Just add the garnishes before serving. If turnip greens happen to come along with the turnips (they didn’t for me) use those in place of the bitter greens or add them in.

Turnip Ginger Soup with Greens & Ham


  • 5 medium turnips, peeled and quartered
  • 1 large nub of fresh ginger, about 4-inches long, peeled and chopped small
  • 5 T butter
  • 10 1/4-inch slices of uncured ham
  • 3 handfuls of stir fry greens: kale, chard, turnip greens, bok choy, whatever
  • 3 T Olive oil
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper

In a medium pot add turnips, butter, and ginger. Cover with water by 1/2-inch. If too much water is added all the flavor of the ginger and turnips will be lost in unused broth when it is puréed. Simmer for 15-20 minutes on medium-high heat until turnips are easily pierced with a knife tip.

Purée turnips and ginger in a food processor adding the cooking liquid little by little until the desired consistency is reached. If necessary add a little more water. Season with salt. Transfer to a pot to reheat in.

Set oven to 250˚F. Place ham slices on a baking sheet and bake until crisp. About 15 minutes. Reserve.

In a large non-stick skillet heat 3 T of olive oil on medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, and is hot add greens in and gently stir. Add 2T of water (and be careful it will sputter) and gently stir some more. When leaves are wilted remove from heat and season with salt.

Reheat soup and ladle into bowls. Add greens decoratively, top with ham slices, and give a twist of fresh pepper across the top.