In an attempt to eat more seasonal food, I occasionally pick up a new vegetable or fruit at the grocery store or the farmer's market and try out a new recipe. A couple of weeks ago after perusing some cookbooks with winter vegetable recipes, I chose a rutabaga. I just finally got around to using it.
This unusual vegetable is a cross between the cabbage and turnip. Although I've read it's more closely related to the turnip. It has a thick skin (mine was also waxed, which I guess is common) that needs completely cut away with knife before cooking.
Like most root vegetables, rutabagas can be roasted and added into other vegetable mixes. Most recipes I've found combine the rutabaga with other vegetables. But I do plan to try Rutabaga Chips some time.
For this recipe, I took a pureed butternut squash soup recipe I loved (I'll let you in on a little secret, I really don't like butternut squash all that much, so for me to love this recipe, it means it's really good!) and adapted it to include rutabaga. It has a smooth, slightly spicy taste, with a gentle sweet edge. It would be great served along a nice green salad.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND RUTABAGA SOUP
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1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 rutabaga, peeled and cubed
1 onion, chopped
1 apple, peeled and chopped
1-2 cloves garlic minced
3 c. chicken stock
2 Tbsp butter
1/2- 3/4 tsp curry powder
1/8-1/4 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Peel and cut squash, rutabaga, onion and apple. Place all in large pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken broth and water to just reach top of veggies. Add garlic. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until squash and rutabaga are tender.
Remove pot from heat and using an immersion blender, puree soup (alternatively, remove veggies with a slotted spoon and puree in a blender before returning to pot). Add liquid to desired consistency. Add spices, salt and pepper to taste. Heat through.
Before serving, garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
Note: The spice measurements are just a guess. Use your palate and adjust spices to taste. Just be sure to go heavier on the curry powder, the cumin is intended to be more of a subtle side-kick.