1 large onion
3 medium turnips, peeled and chopped
1 quart Lima beans, shelled (about 2 cups of peeled lima beans)
2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 carrots, cut into coins
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
freshly ground black pepper
2 quarts chicken stock
6 cups chopped turnip greens
12 oz spicy chicken bratwurst*, sliced into coins and browned
20 oz canned hominy, rinsed**
Place all of the ingredients in group #1 in a 6-quart slow cooker. Stir. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3. Add the ingredients from group #2. Stir. Cover and cook on low 2-3 more hours.
*I used Spicy Espresso Bratwurst by Dogfish Head. It has chicken, espresso powder, minced habanero, cumin and Dogfish Head’s Chicory Stout.
**I used Manning’s hominy because, well, I’m from Baltimore. I am sure there are other brands out there, though.
Note: I added sausage to the soup because I like a bit of smoky meat with my turnip greens but if you want to make it vegetarian leave it out and use vegetable stock instead of chicken. Leave out the cheese too and make it vegan.
Sometimes after I make a recipe and I am typing it up I notice that it is full of ingredients that I know a lot of people are leery of. Take this recipe for example. We stopped off at a farm stand on our way back from visiting the Lock Museum in Havre de Grace (it was a lot of fun, I recommend it) and since this is October, in Maryland, it was mostly root vegetables, apples, peppers, lima beans and the last of the tomatoes and okra. So I picked up some lima beans (still in the pod) and then saw the largest, prettiest turnips I had ever seen, still attached to their greens. Rarely have I seen turnips still attached to their greens so I bought it and then of course, was stuck making something with it. I decided to make a soup using both the turnips and their tops, the lima beans and a few other ingredients I had around the house. Lima beans and turnips being two the most often recipients of nose wrinkling and “I don’t eat that!” when I’ve mentioned them in the past. It is a shame because lima beans (especially fresh, I can take or leave frozen) are creamy and tasty and hold their shape even when slow cooking. Turnips have a bright, peppery flavor and are perfect roasted, mashed, stewed or made into a soup. Turnip greens can be a bit bitter but not more so than say rapini. If they are extra bitter for some reason, blanching them before adding them to the soup (or stew!) often helps. This stew (soup?) is the perfect combination of leafy greens, hearty root vegetables and creamy, slightly sweet hominy. Bonus point: sprinkle some parmesan on top just before serving.