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Cream of Roasted Turnip Soup with Baby Bok Choy and Five Spices Recipe

Course: Appetizer
Total Time: Under 1 Hour
Skill Level: Easy
Cost: Moderate
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Cream of Roasted Turnip Soup with Baby Bok Choy and Five Spices

Photo by: Mark Shapiro

When turnips are roasted, they become so sweet and flavorful that we don’t want to eat them any other way. We love the cute and tender baby bok choy lightly sautéed with Chinese five-spice powder.

Yield: Serves 6


  • 1½ lbs (750 g) turnips, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) olive oil, divided
  • ¾ tsp (3 mL) salt, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 5 heads baby bok choy, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) five-spice powder (See Notes)
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup (125 mL) half-and-half (10%) cream
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp (10 mL) minced fresh chives


  • Rimmed baking sheet


Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

1. On baking sheet, combine turnips, 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the oil, ½ tsp (2 mL) of the salt and black pepper to taste; toss to coat evenly and spread in a single layer. Roast in preheated oven until turnips are tender and begin to color, about 20 minutes.

2. In a large pot, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add bok choy, garlic, five-spice powder and the remaining salt; sauté until bok choy is tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer bok choy to a plate and keep warm.

3. Add stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Add turnips, reduce heat and simmer until turnips have flavored the liquid, about 10 minutes.

4. Using an immersion blender, or in a food processor or blender in batches, pureé soup until smooth. Return to the pot, if necessary. Stir in cream, lemon juice, nutmeg and cayenne; reheat over medium heat, stirring often, until steaming. Do not let boil. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper, if necessary.

5. Ladle into heated bowls and garnish with bok choy and chives.


Five-spice powder is a blend of ground cloves, fennel seeds, cinnamon, star anise and Szechwan peppercorns. Most large grocery stores stock it, but if you can’t find it, just use a mixture of the individual spices. It will still taste delicious.

© 2008 Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

327kcal (16%)
816mg (82%)
345mg (575%)
1600mcg RAE (53%)
7mg (2%)
1859mg (77%)
4g (19%)
17g (27%)
7mg (37%)

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