The perils of winter and its shortened days. The cozy warm fire beckons one inside. The cold crisp air, although intoxicating to some even in its sharpness, acts to deter even the most beloved of activities. Farmers markets are forgone for the ease and convenience of the grocery store. As shamefully hard as it is to admit, I don’t know the last time I stepped foot at the farmers market. Whole Foods on the other hand, has become a frequented location.
On these bitter cold days, when all I seem to want is to warm my bones, and baths have become a nightly ritual, soup seems the best choice for dinner. Soup made of hearty ingredients. Soup that has one dreaming of spring and warmer days.
This soup requires a “bouquet garni”, or a bundle of herbs tied together with string and used to prepare soup, stock, and various stews. The bouquet is cooked with the other ingredients, but is removed before serving. If it were spring, or even summer or fall for that matter, I would walk barefoot out the doors of our home, to the garden and wander along the beds, choosing an assortment of fresh herbs. However, with winter at hand, I was at the mercy of the grocery store.
Gently heat oil in a large stock pot adding the onions and sauté until they begin to color and soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaves, and bouquet garni and cook for another minute or so, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the turnips and cook for just a moment (like 30 seconds) adding the water to the pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until the turnips are soft but not breaking down. Add the beans and kale and cook until they are heated through. Remove from heat as well as remove the herbs and bay leaves. Add the lemon juice and parsley and stir to combine.
Serve immediately and enjoy.