By all means, give these creamy white turnip orbs (some varieties come with a pretty purple blush) a try. Pulled fresh from the ground, an increasing army of turnip hybrids available at farmers markets are light years away from the pungent, tough, waxy, long-stored turnips that formerly gave turnips an unglamorous reputation.
This soup is delicately feminine, ever so elegant and one of my personal favorites. The salty bite of prosciutto nicely counters the sweetness of the onions and turnips. Save the turnip greens for a quick sauté in olive oil with a bit of garlic and serve it alongside.
Adapted from "Southern Farmers Market Cookbook" by Holly Herrick.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Trim the top of the garlic and wrap with foil. Place in the middle of the oven and roast until soft to the touch, about 30 to 45 minutes. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze out the soft pulp by pressing the blade of a chef’s knife against the bulb to release the roasted flesh; discard the papery casings.
Place the garlic, turnips, onions, and chicken stock in a large saucepan. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until the turnips are tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from the stove and puree until smooth with a handheld blender or food processor. Return the soup to the pan. Add the nutmeg, prosciutto, and crème fraîche. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring to blend.
Taste and adjust seasonings as required. Garnish with a sprinkling of freshly chopped green onions and serve immediately.
Note: This soup can be prepared in advance and frozen or stored in the refrigerator. However, if you plan to do so, add the cream just before serving, not before storing.