When Farmer John was recovering from his hip surgery, it was impossible to keep up with all of the chores on the farm.  We decided to whip up a special soup to get him back in the saddle (or up on the tractor)—and use some of the things we had left in the root cellar.

Turnip soup is known to stimulate the appetite, and studies have shown that chicken soup can help speed up the recovery process.  Why not blend the two?  With a little garlic and onions thrown in for their natural anti-microbial powers, this delicious soup will have you feeling better even if you’re not under-the-weather.


1 pound chicken parts

1 whole chicken, thoroughly rinsed

1 carrot, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 parsnip, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 stalks celery, including leafy tops, cut into 3-inch pieces

2 cloves of garlic, peeled

1 large whole onion, unpeeled (find one with a firm, golden-brown peel)

4 Tablespoons butter

2 Tablespoon olive oil

2 pounds of turnips, peeled and cut into a 1/2-inch dice

1/2 cup rice, arborio

1 teaspoon of whole peppercorns

1 bunch of dill, cleaned and tied with a string

salt and pepper



1. Pour 12 cups of cold water into a large stockpot, and throw in the chicken parts, onion, garlic, carrots, parsnip, and celery. Bring to a boil. While water is heating, rub the inside of the whole chicken with salt.

2. Add the chicken to the pot, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Test chicken with a fork to see if it’s tender and fully cooked. If so, remove chicken parts, take meat off of bone, leave meat on separate platter, and return bones to pot.

3. Add salt, and pepper. Let soup simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

4. When chicken cools, remove skin and bones and cut into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

5. Strain the soup, and discard everything solid

6. Melt the butter and oil in a large saucepan and bring to a froth. Toss in the turnips and saute til brown but still firm, about 3 minutes.

7.  Add turnips and chicken pieces to the broth

8. Stir in the rice and cook, covered, over medium heat for about 15 minutes.

9. Drop in the dill for one minute before serving and then remove. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish: minced parsley and 3/4 cup fresh grated parmesan

Get well soon!!



by Josh and Brent

Reader Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This is an amazing recipe and I have now found a new root vegetable that I really love. My family ended up eating more broth than chicken, which is am A++ in my book. Looking forward to trying more recipes. 🙂

Shirley Yantzi

I’m new to your site and just found this recipe – looks yummy!! I noticed that the list shows one (1) onion, however, both instruction #1 & #3 say to add onion. I’m not experienced enough to know if it makes a difference as to when the onion is added. Thanks for your help!
(I learned of you guys and your goats on The Shopping Channel in Canada!)


This looks wonderful, whether or not you are sick! I’m amazed by how many people throw away poultry parts and carcasses-we make stock with chicken, turkey, pheasant (have hunting dog) and anything else stock-worthy. It doesn’t take that long, you can control the salt, use up spare veggies on their way out and it really does taste better than anything store-bought. You can freeze either the stock or the carcasses until you need them or have the time. PS our dogs love this on their kibbles, so we never get stock overload in the freezer.

Laurie Tsonetokoy

I love your recipes, I’ve tried several…thanks! Think I will have to add going out to see you someday to my bucket list…..

Amy Osborne

Today at the grocery store – I purchased turnips and parsnip for the first time in years – with this soup in mind. I am excited to make this tomorrow for dinner, my first recipe from you! It looks so delicious!


This is a lot like my Hungarian grandmother’s recipe, minus the parmesan. Of course, she added a nice amount of sweet paprika.


I add sage to my chicken stock as it is an herbal remedy for breaking fevers. It doesn’t change the overall flavor of the stock either or even the soup if you add a little the bowl.

Donna Vickroy

This soup sounds amazing. It will be on my “try soon” list. We celebrate “family dinner” every Monday night – and this soup with some crunchy San Francisco sourdough bread just sounds wonderful. I like the suggestion for the fresh corn (above).
We just made reservations to stay at a 33 acre working form (B&B) in northern Washington state for a portion of our summer vacation. Cannot wait to have the herding dog give us the official tour. We are “SO” city folk!!

Carol Stansbury

I’m printing that and canning it for the winter! It’s still 80 degrees in sunny Southern California, so the thought of eating soup just won’t work fer me. I love those Beekman Farmer Boyz! Cheers, Carol in Brea

Angel Alicea

"Wow", is all I can say. Made this for the first time last night and my husband and I both agree it was delicious. I even went out and got a fresh chicken from a local chicken farm. I have to say this was far my favorite recipe for chicken soup. I had my reservations about adding the turnips,but I am glad I did they where so sweet and add a wonderful flavor to the soup. I already tucked this recipe into my copy of Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook, thanks for sharing.

Diane Montini

I always like to add fresh corn scraped right off the cob into my chicken soup. Gotta be fresh corn though, something about the corn "milk" I think that adds to the flavor! Turnips though I have never tried, but will!! LOVE YOUR SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ann Brown

In this recipe you call for "chicken parts", as well as a whole chicken. What do you mean by "chicken parts"?

Dr. Brent

Hi, Ann

If you go to your grocer's butcher, he can give you the "parts" which usually include the neck, liver, heart and sometimes the feet. You don't have to use them, but they will make a more rich stock


Mmmm…there's nothing better than a bowl of soup to get you on the mend especially when it is served in beautiful dishes!


yum : ) ! Man…that looks and sounds great! I will have to try your recipe after our snow tubing this weekend.

My mom used to gently ‘pound’ the chicken legs and brown them with garlic and then boil for the soup. That way …the bone marrows are well integrated in the stock. Also, Asian chickens (free ranging) are usually harder than farmed chickens….hence the pounding.


I always ask for the remaining bird carcasses after Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years dinner, to many strange glances from the in-laws. I store them in the freezer, and then, when the time comes, I add them to my 16 qt stock pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for 24 hours. At the end I have the most flavorful soup (after I strain the bones etc, out and add the leftover meat back in. (Of course I add veggies in as it nears the end of cooking). I cook noodles on the side so I can freeze extra portions without the noodles getting too soggy and ruining the taste of the soup.

I see myself as the victor when I'm able to make pots of soup for myself and hubby after the fact. That's using the most of what you've been given!