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Neep Bree

The turnips (neeps) in this soup are the large yellow ones, available through the winter months, known south of the Border as swedes, rather than the smaller white variety which in Scotland are known as new turnips.
Turnips were often used for making brose in this area. This was a custom which used the water that vegetables had been cooked in - nothing was ever thrown away. Some of the vegetable water was poured over oatmeal in a bowl to make a thick porridge consistency
and this was eaten with the pureed vegetables.

1 and a half Ib turnips (Three quarters kg)       
Half pt milk (250 ml)
1 medium onion, finely chopped 
Pinch of ginger
Salt and pepper
2 oz butter (50 g)        
2 pts water or stock (1 L)

Garnish -
Chopped chives and 1 tbsp cream per person

Peel and chop the turnip roughly and blanch in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Pour off water. Melt butter in a large pot and add onions and turnip. Season with salt and pepper and add ginger. Cover and cook very gently for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the water or stock, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes when the turnip should be tender. Liquidise till it is a very fine puree or pass twice through a fine sieve. Correct the consistency with a little milk if it is too thick and check seasoning. Serve hot, garnished with chopped chives and a tbsp of cream in each bowl.

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