The arrival of this very interesting root vegetable presents a positive challenge. What can one do with a vegetable, a root vegetable, that has never been popularized in the mainstream? Many of us have had unpleasant experiences with certain vegetables. Over cooking, bad preparation, bitter or unappealing textures and colors remain in our memories. This is not so much the fault of the cook, but of the producer. Vegetables produced in healthy, nutrient dense soil are no match for commercially produced vegetables raised in dead soil that is fortified with fertilizer.
You will taste the difference and adopt this new comer a move it prime time.
When peeling the rutabaga, take a thick layer from the vegetable. You can double peel it, first removing the outer layer and then peeling again to reach the creamy yellow interior.
Cream of Rutabaga Soup
6 slices FFM bacon, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, about 2 cups chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and chopped, about ½ cup
½ cup diced celery
1 TBS dried thyme
1 bay leaf
4 cups diced, chopped rutabaga
2 cups diced raw potato—yellow potatoes are best
Salt and pepper
Render the bacon in a heavy bottom pan. Use a pan that will be large enough to hold all the vegetables and liquid that will be added. Start the bacon on medium low heat. It is important that the bacon render all of its smoky fat while not becoming crisp. This will take 15 to 20 minutes. Check often and lower the heat if the edges of the bacon begin to burn.
Add the onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf and thyme. Cover and sweat these vegetables about one half hour. Stir often. Keep the heat low.
Add the potatoes, the rutabaga, the stock and enough water to cover all the potatoes and vegetables. Raise the heat to medium. Cook the soup for about one and one half hours. The rutabaga pieces must be very soft. You should be able to smash them between your thumb and index finger.
Let the soup cool to warm. Your option for making a smooth creamy soup are three. The best method is to use a blender, the second is to use the food processor and finally, if neither of these is available, use a food mill.
After the soup has been pureed, pass it through a screen. Return the soup to the pan and reheat it. Season the soup well with salt and pepper. This creamy soup has no cream. The texture of the rutabaga and the potato create the wonderfully smooth texture.
The soup will keep for two or three days in the refrigerator or it can be frozen.