Friday, 29 August 2014

Turnip Soup Day Comes Early

Turnip soup day comes like clockwork every year.  Late August, usually.

It starts with a listlessness.  The summer days are still achingly long, but darkness descends at 9 pm rather than 11.  I feel jealous of the kids out getting measured for new school uniforms, and getting their compasses and roller ball pens and file dividers for back-to-school time.

They're going back into a routine.  They're going to learn lots of exciting things about the world.

They're getting a fresh start, a New Year.

I want one, I find myself muttering as I walk through a whiff of acid-free A4 paper in the seasonal aisle at Tesco.

Around that time, all summered out for the year, longing for the comfy, indoorsy autumn feeling that comes with September, turnips are just coming into season.

And they make brilliant soup.

I go back to the same trusty turnip soup recipe every August, hoping each spoonful will coax autumn that bit closer.

Three small turnips.  What we Irish call turnips, that is.  You might call them swedes.  Seasonally orange, sweet and comforting.

Fry on a medium heat, with two chopped onions and a diced potato, for five minutes.  Then cover with chicken stock, pop in two bay leaves, a level teaspoonful of ground nutmeg, and season well with salt and pepper.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Blitz, check seasoning, and stir in a good pour of single cream.

Kick off the frenzy of summer, and eat from a big bowl in a suitably comfy chair, wearing chunky socks.  Look forward to returning to a sensible routine, making packed lunches, having early nights and digging out woolly jumpers.

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