We love the play between the delicate, slightly sweet purée of turnips and parsnips and the savory cheese- and herb-enhanced meatballs. Serve this soup as the first course for a fall dinner party. Prep and Cook Time: 50 minutes. Notes: Some bread and a simple green salad turn this soup into an elegant meal for 4.
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 medium turnips (about 1 lb.), peeled and chopped
6 medium parsnips (about 1 1/2 lbs.), peeled and chopped
5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon minced chives, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons finely grated asiago, parmesan, or pecorino cheese
About 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
Melt butter in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add turnips, parsnips, broth, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine pork, 1 tbsp. chives, parsley, cheese, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a small bowl. Mix gently to combine. Form into 36 balls, about 1 tsp. each, and set aside.
Whirl soup in a blender until smooth (in batches if necessary). Return to pot and keep warm over low heat.
In a wide, shallow pan, bring at least 2 in. of water to a boil and add remaining 1 tsp. salt. Add meatballs and cook until they float to the surface and are cooked through (test one to be sure), about 4 minutes. Transfer to a warm plate with a slotted spoon.
Divide soup among 6 bowls. Top each bowl with 6 meatballs and sprinkle with additional chives and pepper. Serve hot.
This was surprisingly good for a recipe that uses up turnips. I actually had too many turnips and not quite enough parsnips, but the soup was still mildly sweet and pleasant-tasting. My only regret is that I didn't use a whole pound of ground pork to make the meatballs (which were less of a pain to make than I expected), as what we have will not be enough to match the leftover soup. I served this as an entree with a glass of wine, but it does need a salad and/or bread to round it out as even with the meatballs it's not quite substantial enough. I don't expect to make this often as I don't often have turnips to use but I would make this again.