Spicy White Bean and Turnip Soup

Spicy White Bean and Turnip Soup

Aside from actually traveling to the Mediterranean and dining at a seaside cafĂ©, the next best way to cope with a relentlessly long and cold winter might be to set a big soup pot full of hot and nourishing Mediterranean vegetables and beans to cook on the stove. This hearty, colorful and slightly spicy Croatian recipe is adapted from Martha Rose Shulman's wonderful Mediterranean Harvest both to boost the vegetables and to deal with the fact I didn't have parsnips on hand — in went the turnips instead, and to delicious effect.

Spicy White Bean and Turnip SoupSpicy White Bean and Turnip Soup
Recipe by
Adapted from Mediterranean Harvest: Vegetarian Recipes from the World's Healthiest Cuisine
Cuisine: Croatian
Published on March 6, 2009

Hearty, nourishing, colorful and zesty white bean soup with turnips and vegetables

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 to 35 minutes

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  • 1 1/2 cups dried cannellini (white kidney) beans (4 1/2 cups cooked or 3 14 oz cans)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 lb (450 g) turnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • small handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Rinse the beans under running water and soak overnight covered in several inches of cold water. Drain and rinse, then add to a large saucepan along with 5 cups of fresh water and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are just tender. Remove from heat and set aside.

  • Heat a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. When hot, toss in the olive oil, wait a few moments, then swirl around to coat the pan. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion turns translucent. Add the garlic, turnips, potato and carrots, and sautĂ© for 1 minute. Stir in the red pepper, paprika, chili flakes, along with the beans and their cooking liquid. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

  • Remove from heat and discard the bay leaf. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Serve hot in bowls with a spoonful of chopped parsley on top.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Spicy White Bean and Turnip Soup

If you liked this recipe you may also enjoy:
Italian White Bean and Kale Soup
Cannellini Bean Soup with Fontina Gremolata
Cream of Potato and Turnip Soup


Anonymous said...

This looks strangely tasty for such an obviously healthy recipe. :-)

sunita said...

Lovely... Lisa, I adore such colourful soups :-)

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

This looks really colourful and delicious Lisa. I bet it tasted really good!

You have really made great use of that cookbook. I must follow your example and start putting my cookbooks to use.

Anonymous said...

This looks fabulous (and I'm doing a little dance here because I can actually have this on my upcoming cleanse!). I've even got the parsnips in the fridge--perfect timing! :)

Ivy said...

It's a perfect dish and have all the ingredients except the turnips. I have a question. Why is the lemon or yoghurt added?

Lisa Turner said...

Ivy, the yogurt (whey) or lemon goes into the soaking beans to make them more digestible.

Daniel said...

Hi Lisa,
I'm happy to say I discovered your blog today and I wanted to let you know that I really like your recipes! The great thing about veggie cooking is that most of the dishes are both inexpensive and healthy to eat. Looking forward to following you in the future!

Casual Kitchen

Lisa Turner said...

Thanks for stopping by Daniel!

Usha said...

Loved the colorful and hearty soup! Definitely a must try recipe :-)

Anonymous said...

I am not much of a health food person at all, but this recipe caught my husbands eye and I will have to say it was DELICIOUS!

test it comm said...

Another great looking soup. I do not use turnips nearly often enough.

Jaya M said...

looks delicious ...
hugs and smiles

Anonymous said...

I was searching for turnip recipes and found your blog. What a treasure. I get turnips in my weekly winter farm box and don't like them much. I tried them last night in this soup and it was so good! I also made the beetroot cake and my kids (who don't like beets) loved it. So good. Can't wait to try more.

naomihealer said...

Thank you for this lovely delicious stew! I look forward to sharing with others...

Ellie said...

I made this! It was a huge hit, and so simple (it required some time, but easy to multitask). I subbed a sweet potato for the regular potato and added two sticks of celery. Last, I seasoned with some Walker's Point seasoning from the Spice House (you can order online). Yum! Can't wait to eat the leftovers for lunch today. Thank you for posting!