Turkish Chicken and Root Veggie Soup

Ok – now that we’ve sufficiently recovered from Slumming It, we’ve moved back into more…well, elegant food.

We got up today, and it was snowing. Yuck. This called for soup. So, we made a Turkish chicken and root veggie soup. It is a very nice, slightly sweet soup, kept under control by a good shot of fresh lemon juice. It is probably one of the top two or three soups I’ve ever had, and it beats the heck out of chicken/noodle or chicken/dumplings anyday of the week. Its a wonderful winter soup, and the fresh bright lemon makes it very hopeful, predictive of things to come in spring.

Ingredients (These are approximations, exact amounts aren’t a big deal, if you’re happy, we’re happy – and I think people often get hung up on exact amounts way too much in soups)

6 cups of chicken stock (or broth, I’ve never made this with canned, always fresh stock, but it would work. If you’ve never made chicken stock, I’d strongly suggest Alton Brown’s stock recipe, which is what we use).
2 large carrots
2 large parsnips
1 spanish (yellow) onion, about baseball sized,
2 cloves of garlic,
1 celeriac (celery root) about baseball sized
2 leeks
1 turnip
4 3-inch-ish white potatos, peeled
Sprig of Italian flat leaf parsley
approx 1lb of chicken breast meat
1/2 stick of butter
Lemons as needed, sliced to squeeze/drop in bowls of soup.
Flour, around a quarter of a cup.

Dice all veggies except garlic, parsley and leeks in about 1/2″ to 3/4″ pieces. Do the same with the chicken. Mince the garlic very finely. Use only the white/green part of the leeks up to the joint area. To clean leeks (they will be dirty and sandy), cut the root end off, and the joint/leaf end as well, then split the leak down the center and open it up, rinsing it under running water. slice the leeks very finely.

In a good sized stockpot, sautee the onion and garlic in the butter, over medium heat until they turn soft. Add the rest of the veggies except for the parsley. Add the chicken. Sprinkle the flour over the contents of the pot and stir it well. Now add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce and let simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the veggies are tender. Mince the parseley finely and add it a few minutes before serving the soup.

Season to taste with salt and pepper to taste.

When ready to serve, ladle the soup into soup bowls, and add a good squeeze of lemon juice from a lemon wedge and stir it into the soup. The wedge can be left in the soup bowl so that the broth can pull some of the essential oils out of the zest.

This is a wonderful meal with some nice crusty French style bread. Despite being made of up root veggies, its not nearly as heavy as a pure potato type soup would be. I highly recommend this.


6 comments on “Turkish Chicken and Root Veggie Soup

  1. Anna says:

    M-m-m…In Hungary, we make something very similar, and add some cream or sour cream in the final stage, before squeezing the lemon over it. My dad makes it in his restaurant, and also a version with young pork and fresh tarragon. Terrific. These types of soups are all over that corner of the world, and are all related.
    Now to find celery root in this blasted wastelend of culinary fineries here…:-)

  2. lizardqueen says:

    Ooohhh, this sounds good. It’s cold-wet-death over here in north Texas, and thus this soup sounds really really good!

  3. Chris says:


    We can get the celeriac even at Kroger (well, Dillons, for us), even here in Lawrence, though Katie ended up actually getting it at “The Merc” a lawrence based co-op/whole foods/psycho organic (as opposed to silicon based)grocer.


    This is definitely a soup you’ll want to try, or something like it. It’s just so different from anything else I’ve had that I’m not sure what to compare it to, because the flavours are just not what one expects in a chicken/noodle society. Instead, its all bright and sunny, yet not as heavy as chick/noodle can be. Its definitely one of my favourite soups.

  4. Anna says:

    Well, I did not have such luck at our local Kroger, unless specialordering it from the produce manager at Tom Thumb…and I am not sure if otherwise I want to go out of my way to get it…Maybe at the new Southlake CEntral market…hmmm…

  5. barbaresco says:

    Kroger… Tom Thumb… Man, I remember those stores from when I lived in TX. Here on the East Coast it’s become extremely easy to find everything (although they’ll make you pay for it!).

  6. Chris says:

    I bet you do pay big time for quality foodstuffs out there, though I suspect you’ve got a better selection than we do.

    Regarding this soup, I finished the last of the lot off for lunch today – and it only got better sitting in the fridge, as all the flavours melded together. This soup just makes me happy.

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