Turnip and bread soup

After thinking about it for a while, I finally got around to make turnip soup. I was looking for a turnip soup and digging around the web I discovered that there is a typical turnip and bread soup from Piedmont, one of the Northern regions of Italy, located in the west by the Alps. I found it immediately very interesting and decided I should try it at the first occasion. And so I did. It is a very rustic, filling and satisfying dish, perfect for the winter. Also it is pretty cheap!

Turnip and bread soup

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 2-3 Servings


  • 1 lb turnips
  • broth
  • 2 oz bacon
  • 5 slices of bread
  • grated cheese (parmigiano, pecorino, cheddar...)
  • rosemary
  • pepper


  1. Here is what you do. First chop bacon up and put it in an hot pot. Add 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, crushed not minced and a bit of rosemary. Let it cook for a while and drain the excess fat. After the bacon has rendered all of its fat, add the turnips diced. Cook a couple of minutes, so that the turnips can absorb the flavors from the bacon and then cover with broth. Let it cook for as long as you want but at least half an hour to 45 minutes (I cooked it for about 2 hours) and then mash the turnips up coarsely. At this point take a deep oven dish and line it with slices of toasted bread. Cover the bread with part of the soup and freshly grated cheese (I used a mix of parmigiano, pecorino and cheddar), then cover with some more bread, the rest of the soup, more grated cheese and a sprinkle of ground pepper. Put everything in the oven at 375F for about 30 min using the broiling function for the last 10 minutes or so to get a nice golden crust. Serve up with some more pepper and olive oil.
  2. Awesome winter soup, who knew that turnips could be so filling?

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3 Responses to Turnip and bread soup

  1. Donald O'Brien says:

    This sounds fantastic, and so filling and warming. perfect for cold winter nights :] Thanks! And if you're ever on the west coast and in need of some authentic Italian food, check out Simply Delicious in Santa Rosa, CA.

  2. Pola says:

    Yeah they exist: they are called "rape" and are usually boiled (sometimes in milk) and then sauteed or baked.

  3. Frank says:

    Now here's something I have to try! I do like turnips but am always at a loss to know what to do with them. This sounds scrumptious. 🙂

    Interesting bit about the Piedmontese recipe. I had no idea that turnips even existed in Italy…

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