First I will share with you a little retro scene brought up to date in today's real world. I will then share the recipe. Then I will present the Mrs. verdict. Did she like the soup? And finally, I will present a picture of our kitty, Frisky, who is always nearby and sniffing when grandpa is cooking.
Some of you folk may recall a classic 1940s or 1950s scene between a husband and wife. George comes home from the foundry, swinging his lunch pail and smiling broadly as he climbs the steps of 'his' old front porch. He greets Florence with a peck on the cheek, and he says, “Hi Honey, I'm starving, what’s for supper?” The wife trembles a bit, smiles, and fearfully replies “I’ve cooked something new to surprise you George.” His smile disappears and he says, “Like, what?” Florence announces her special creation. And George raises his nose and gives her a :-(,
Now here's an up-to-date 2011 version of this old story brought to life. The husband is the cook.
My wife comes to the front porch to greet me this morning before going to work. I was sitting in an old fashioned, 1940's style white wicker chair, and I was looking at Monet’s cookbook. I cautiously said, “Hey, sweetheart, I’m going to make you a very special Monet soup for our supper. It will be great with a wonderful spinach salad and a glass of chilled Pinot Grigio on what will be a very hot night.” Nancy’s big smile gives way to a questioning look :-? She deadpans, “Uh, what kind of soup, Ross?” I gave her my big smile and said ... "It's a Claude Monet soup ... it's his Potage à la Dauphine!"
"What kind of soup, Ross:-?"
"Oooh ... ees what will be a wonderful cream of turnip soup :-!"
The Mrs. wrinkles her nose way up and gives me one of these replies: :-(,
A discussion follows and Grandpa agrees to a modification. He will add brocolli florets to jazz up the taste a bit, to give the soup more flavor. Here's the recipe and then I will tell you the outcome. Does the Mrs. like the soup?
- 6-8 small white turnips (about 1 1 /4 pounds)
- 1 & 1/2 quarts of water
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut in slices to ease melting (1 stick)
- 2 cups of light cream half & half, or 1/2 cup salted butter, cut in slices (I used half & half)
- 1-2 cups of broccoli florets (the Mrs. idea, optional)
- Salt, pepper, & garlic powder to taste*
(*Combine 1 cup of salt, 1/4th cup of black pepper, and 1/4th cup of garlic powder in a jar. Cap the top and shake. Use your fingers to sprinkle the seasoning mix. Keep your jar handy and use the seasoning mix often.)
Cut off the leaf and root. Scrap and wash the turnips well. You may want to use a potato peeler to take off the outer skin. Put the turnips in a pot with 1 & 1/2 quarts of water and the 1/4 cup of the sliced butter. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes or until the turnips crush easily.
Strain and reserve the liquid. Use a potato masher to puree the turnips. Pour the liquid back over the turnips. Put the pot back on a very low heat. While the liquid and puree'd turnips are reheating, add the half & half, cream, or butter slices. Stir until the mixture is smooth. Do not let the soup boil. Season the soup with the mix of salt, pepper, and garlic powder and taste:-) (so that you'll know how Monet tasted the soup!) Then, if you wish to do as the spouse suggests, add the brocolli florets and keep the pot simmering until the brocolli is soft and the soup is hot. Serve with the pride you feel when you have prepared a special dish for your love.
Serve the soup with a big spinach salad and with artisan French bread and butter. Claude Monet wanted a soup served at the beginning of every meal.
The verdict: "It's very good!"