Buttermilk Bisque… with roasted turnips, pears and leeks

Buttermilk Bisque With roasted turnips, pears and leeks


Bisque.  A fancy name for soup… 

Another in my threesome of “winter white” recipes for the January issue of Carolina Country, this creamy soup will warm you right down to your bones, and soothe the soul.  

But… if you prefer room temperature, you can enjoy it that way too.

If you are not a fan of turnips, I urge you to give this a try.  When roasted, the natural sugars caramelize, giving them a different flavor than what you may be familiar with.  I don’t know about you, but I grew up being served “stewed” turnips… boiled, usually with some sort of meat, until like mashed potatoes.  And although I love them that way too, I understand many do not, and that may be your experience with turnips!  Over the years, I have served them roasted, usually with sweet potatoes, red onions and Brussels Sprouts.  My non-turnip-eating friends would say… as they picked them out of the dish… “what are these whitish things?  they’s so GOOD!”
And I’d say… “turnips!”  And their response would be…
“Can’t be, I hate turnips!”  As they stuffed them in their face.

So do yourself a favor on a January day. Throw together some of this bisque… so full of layers of flavors that marry deliciously!  Finished off with a drizzle of roasted garlic oil, just serve with some cornbread or pork cracklins… a “winter white” to brush off the winter blues!

This recipe created for and published in Carolina Country Magazine  January 2020 © (copyrighted)
Propping/styling and photography  by
Wendy Perry Carolina Country Magazine Contributing Recipes Editor

Credentials @ LinkedIn

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Buttermilk Bisque with roasted turnips, pears and leeks

Warm up from the inside out with this creamy, “winter white” soup. Or serve it chilled! Roasting the produce adds another layer of flavor, and even turnip-haters will find those root veggies tasty. Serve with cornbread and cracklins.
Course: Appetizer, Bisque, Brunch, Soup
Cuisine: American, Farmers Market, Garden Goodies, Gluten Free
Keyword: bisque, buttermilk, leeks, pears, stoup, stew, soup, state fair
Author: Wendy Perry


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 large turnips, (about 4 cups), peeled and cubed
  • 5-6 ripe, firm pears,

    peeled, quartered and cored
  • 3-4 leeks, white parts only, washed and roughly chopped
  • 4 heads garlic
  • 8 ounces olive oil
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 cup whole buttermilk
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Toss turnips, pears and leeks with ¼ cup olive oil. Scatter on parchment-lined baking pan.
  • Cut top off of whole heads of garlic to expose cloves. Place into a small baking dish and pour 8 ounces of olive oil over heads of garlic. Roast alongside vegetables. Remove garlic from oven after 25–30 minutes and separate garlic from oil to cool, reserving oil. Roast vegetables for a total of 35–40 minutes, tossing after first 20 minutes.
  • Squeeze cooled garlic cloves into a food processor, along with roasted vegetables, celery and rosemary. Add 1–2 cups each of buttermilk and broth (depending on size of processor). Purée until smooth. Pour into pot with remaining buttermilk and broth and heat gently. Add seasonings and butter.
  • Garnish with a drizzle of the roasted garlic oil, plus a sprinkle of cracklins and cornbread crumbs (optional).



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