Cauliflower & Turnip soup and thoughts on Climate Change

DSC_2028This week in Italy, and in most of Europe, we had a cold storm coming from Siberia. The temperatures went down to -10 ° during the night and here in Bra for the last couple days. As much as we love snow, we are all really tired of this freezing weather. I can’t wait for spring to arrive!!
I went to the farmers market yesterday morning and the market was basically empty, and the few sellers that were there had their stands all covered up with blankets protecting their produce. I couldn’t find much to buy, but I ended up with some cauliflower, turnips, a couple leeks and some baby broccoli. I sure do appreciate the few people out there in these freezing mornings!
A simple, yet nourishing and warming soup came out from my morning findings… (recipe below).

Talking about climate, I recently had a short course on Climatology, and I want to briefly talk about this topic. Climate change has been a word used on social media and news for quite some time now, but I think it’s something we don’t really understand fully and are lacking information about. The main message I got out of this class is that climate change is Happening, and VERY fast.
For the last 800’000 years our planet has had a CO2 concentration ranging between 180-280 ppm (8 cycles indicating the glacial eras). After the 1700s (when the industrial revolution began) the level of CO2 started growing from 280 (the normal level) higher and higher…and today we are at 405 ppm!! A level that the human planet has never experienced, and it keeps growing! at a rate of +2/3 ppm each year! (IMAGE 1)
The natural Greenhouse effect is a very important process for our lives (without it the earth would have an average temperature of -18° celsius), but the problem is that we are now (well, from the 18th century) emitting too many gasses into the atmosphere, warming the planet up.
If the various governments decide to take action (so far not much has been done), the best case scenario is that by 2100 our temperature will have risen of +2/3°(+ 0.6 meter sea rise) ; in the worst case scenario or as many say “business as usual” it will rise of +5.4° (+ 1 meter sea rise).
This may not seem like a drastic picture to some, but it is.  We are talking about loss of biodiversity and ecosystems (for example coffee growers keep moving their plants higher and higher looking for colder temp already today, but what will happen when the top of the mountain doesn’t get any higher?), higher water demand, loss of habitable towns etc.
The best lifestyle changes one can make to lower their carbon and footprint emissions are shown in IMAGE 2: they include eating a Plant based diet (yes, agriculture is one of the biggest contributors and this includes all the land, deforestation and feed grown to raise cattle; plus they emit tons of methane), switching to an electric car and renewable energies for your home, taking fewer flights, and….having fewer children! Yes, we are too many, and the number keeps growing, and this high population rate does not help to the situation.
The IMAGE 3 shows different country’s CO2 emissions from 2014.

If you are more interested you can look on the web for: “the IPAT equation”, “building resilience”, Johan Rockstrom and planetary boundaries, the swiss “2000-watt society”.

IMAGE 1Screen Shot 2018-03-01 at 15.17.38

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Screen Shot 2018-03-01 at 15.20.19


·INGREDIENTS· (for 4 servings)
→ 1 cauliflower (about 500 gr after cleaning)
→ 300 gr turnips
→ 2 leeks
→ fresh rosemary and sage
→ extra virgin olive oil
→ salt & black pepper

to garnish:
→toasted pumpkin seeds
→dried tomatoes (optional)
→slices of stale bread, or croutons

In a large pot heat 2 spoons of olive oil and add the leeks (sliced roughly), some coarse salt and a twig each of rosemary and sage. Sauteè for 5 minutes while you wash and cut the cauliflower and turnips in chunks (I peel the turnip). Add them to the pot and add hot water or broth just enough to barely cover all the veggies. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
Take the rosemary and sage twigs out of the pot and puree the soup with a hand blender. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
When serving add a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, some black pepper, toasted seeds (I used pumpkin, but you can use sunflower also), chopped dried tomatoes (if they are not under oil then they must be soaked before to get rid of salt) and some croutons or a slice of stale bread (rye sourdough bread in my case). Enjoy!



2 thoughts on “Cauliflower & Turnip soup and thoughts on Climate Change

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