swede or rutabaga* soup

March 12, 2008


Help! The vegetables are breeding in my fridge! Much as it is a lovely feeling to come home to a box of vegetables tucked away in the car port, sometimes the vegetables do take over. When the box arrives we take it indoors and then crowd around it, peering over it like two small children at the school toy box. Whoops of joy when there’s squashes and mushrooms. Hint, hint, River Nene!

But, by the end of the week there’s usually one or two items that need a bit of a helping hand on their way before the next delivery arrives. This week it’s Mr Swede’s turn. The ones we’ve been getting are not your average supermarket specimens. Oh no, the last beauty took up almost half of one of the vegetable compartments in the fridge. It’s been making an appearance in the form of the usual suspects: carrot and swede mash, beef stew, and the last pieces are destined for this sweet, earthy soup.

* Rutabaga is what Americans call swede. Apparently, it’s the Swedish word for swede. How weird is that?


Serves 2

a knob of butter
1 onion, sliced
300g swede, diced
500ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp vegetable oil
50g mushrooms, finely sliced
2 tbsp grated parmesan

In a saucepan, melt the butter and gently fry the onion until soft. Lower the heat, add the swede, then put the lid on and sweat for 5 minutes. Season generously. Pour on the stock and simmer for 30 minutes until the swede is soft. Allow to cool a little and then blend to a smooth liquid. Return to the saucepan and, if required, adjust the seasoning.

Fry the mushrooms in the vegetable oil until browned. Remove from the heat and melt a small piece of butter over the mushrooms.

Gently reheat the soup. Pour the soup into bowls, sprinkle on the parmesan and place the mushrooms gently in the middle.


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