Hakurei turnips are a mild, fast growing variety of Japanese turnip and a staple at farmers markets, especially in spring and early summer. Unlike the purple grocery store variety, Hakurei turnips are small white globes that are tender and mild enough to be eaten raw, alone or in salads. They are typically sold in one-pound bunches with greens attached, have a short shelf life, and become buttery and sweet when sautéed or roasted. For the omnivores, Hakurei turnips are amazing with eggs and garlic or smashed and baked with parmesan. For the herbivores, we have a rich and filling Hakurei Turnip and Lentil Soup that will knock your socks off. Made in the Instant Pot because patience is a virtue we do not possess.Print
Hakurei Turnip and Lentil Soup
- 2 pounds Hakurei Turnips (uniformly sized, about the size of ping pong balls) with greens
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups unsalted vegetable broth/stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups dried green or brown lentils
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 tsp dried dill
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp celery seeds*
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- Add the lentils to a large bowl and cover by two inches with cool water. Set aside.
- Prep the onion, carrots, garlic, and lemon and set aside separately. Add the herbs, salt and pepper to a small bowl and set aside.
- Wash the turnips and trim off and reserve the greens. Trim the top and bottom of each turnip – no need to peel. Quarter each turnip from top to bottom. If larger than a ping pong ball, halve from top to bottom and cut each half into thirds to keep pieces uniform in size. Set aside.
- Rinse the turnip greens thoroughly, discard any wilted or yellowed leaves, then stack and roll the leaves and cut crosswise into 1-inch ribbons. Discard the stems. You’ll want 2 packed cups of greens total.
- Set Instant Pot to Sauté and add the oil and onions. Cook until translucent, 2-3 minutes. Add the carrots, stir, and cook another 2-3 minutes until onions begin to brown. Add the water and deglaze the bottom of the pot, then add the vegetable broth, garlic, turnips, greens, bay leaf, lemon juice, herbs, salt, and pepper (reserve the lemon zest).
- Skim off any floaters from the bowl of lentils and discard, then strain and rinse thoroughly under cold running water, and add to the pot.
- Stir, seal the Instant Pot, and set to Manual/High for 10 minutes (make sure Keep Warn is turned off). Vent manually as soon as cooking time ends.
- As soon as the Instant Pot pin drops, remove lid and use a slotted spoon to skim off any lentil skins that have floated to the top. Transfer to a food processor or blender pitcher. Find and discard the bay leaf. Ladle a cup of broth and a cup of lentils/vegetables into the processor/blender, then pulse until pureed. Return the puree to the pot, add the lemon zest, and stir. Serve garnished with lemon wedges and fresh thyme and dill, if desired.
Cool completely, then refrigerate in a glass airtight container up to four days. Freeze in airtight containers for up to six months and defrost in refrigerator before reheating.
*Two ribs of celery (diced) can be used in place of celery seeds. Add along with carrots to Instant Pot.
Nutrition Estimate Per Serving (1/8 RECIPE) – Calories: 188.4, Fat: 1.8g, Saturated Fat: .2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: .2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1.1g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 281mg, Potassium: 580mg, Carbohydrates: 33.5g total/26g net, Fiber: 7.5g, Sugar: 6g, Protein: 10g, Vitamin A: 118%, Vitamin C: 36%, Calcium: 12.6%, Iron: 14% (based on 2,000 calorie diet).
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