Season: Baby turnips are best in June and July; winter turnips, all year.
In early June, I love seeing the first young bunches of carrots, and the same goes for turnips – so pretty, about the size of golf balls, with deep-purple tinges to their creamy-white flesh and topped with frilly leaves. In winter, they're less tender and can be steamed and mashed to a purée with an equal amount of steamed potatoes, with the addition of a little cream and butter. I love them sliced wafer-thin in Cornish pasties and roasted as a vegetable.
To prepare turnips: use a potato peeler to peel it in precisely the same way as a potato, but slicing off the root end first with a knife. Then just cut the turnip into suitably sized chunks or slices.
To cook baby turnips: dice 1 lb (450 g) of peeled turnips into ¾ inch (2 cm) cubes. Steam them for 3 minutes, sprinkled with a little salt, then sauté in melted butter , tossing them around for about 10 minutes, until tender. This quantity of turnips will serve 4 people.
A great Gallic classic, this is a wonderful one-pot recipe for chicken - and the wine and stock keep it beautifully moist and full of flavour.
A hearty soup drawn from the rustic traditions of French cooking: vary the vegetables according to season and whatever you have to hand. All you need to serve it is plenty of crusty bread.
Although they are cheap, split peas are actually brilliant on the nutritious front and provide plenty of fibre in the diet. This soup is just one way of enjoying them...
You could make this at any time of the year, but in Delia's view autumn lamb gives the most flavourful results. Serve it with plenty of mashed potato and root veg.
Since oven-roasted vegetables in the 'Summer Collection' were so very popular, I simply had to do a winter version. Here is it and once again it is a winner for entertaining, not least because all the vegetables can be cooked together.