Thursday, November 4, 2010

Creamy Rutabaga Soup

My almost-4-year-old has been going through a phase lately. And not one of the fun ones. Part of it involves complaining every time he comes to the table--which we don't put up with. So he often doesn't eat, by his choice. One of the things he did eat recently was Creamy Rutabaga Soup (I know, right? Who is this kid?).

I'm all about fresh, seasonal produce and rutabagas (along with other root vegetables) were available at the farmer's market lately. So, I found a soup recipe online (soups are a staple in our house this time of year) and tweaked it a little. Here's the recipe:

1 medium rutabaga, about 2 pounds
1 small carrot
2 bay leaves
3 T. butter
4 T. soft unbleached flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black peppercorns
2 c. milk
grated nutmeg
cheese/cream cheese

Peel the rutabaga, and cut it into thin slices. Put them in a large pot with enough water just to cover them, and the bay leaves. Peel, slice and add the carrot to the pot. Bring to a boil, and simmer until tender, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the butter, flour, salt and pepper together in another pot until well amalgamated. Lower the heat, and add the milk, a little at a time and stirring constantly to prevent it from forming lumps (this is a basic white sauce). Once the mixture is thick, set it aside until the rutabaga is done.

When the rutabaga is done, put the white sauce into a blender or food processor with the pieces of rutabaga and carrot, which should be lifted out of the cooking water with a slotted spoon. Purée the rutabaga, carrot and white sauce until very smooth.

Put the soup back into a pot that the white sauce was in. Put three cups of the cooking water from the rutabaga into the food processor, and whizz it around to clean the sides. Pour this water into the soup, and stir well until smooth. Grate a little nutmeg over the soup, and mix it in.

Reheat the soup just before serving. Serve garnished with parsley, chives or a little more grated nutmeg.

Knowing that my family might need some coaxing, I added a bit of cheese and cream cheese to the soup to lessen the rutabaga flavor and make it a little creamier. I probably used about a quarter cup of cream cheese and another quarter to half cup of whatever cheese was already open in the refrigerator (it may have been muenster or farmers or possibly some cheddar).

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