Last week at the farmer's market I bought a couple of rutabagas, and I knew I wanted to make soup with them. It's been pretty chilly in San Francisco, perfect soup weather. I wanted to try something different, and while looking through my spice cabinet, I found the neglected jar of ground chipotle, and an idea formed in my head.
This soup has a tangy turnip kick to it that pairs well with the spicy smoked chipotle.
Rutabaga Chipotle Soup
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 large rutabagas, peeled and diced (this yields about 5 cups)
4 cups broth of choice (chicken or vegetable)
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 to 1 teaspoon dried ground chipotle* (see note below!)
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
Salt to taste
Melt butter in a large pot and add onion and celery, cooking until browned. Season with salt. Add the rutabaga and the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the rutabaga is fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Add the chipotle and the white pepper. Stir well.
Process in a blender or food processor until smooth, and pass through a fine mesh sieve to remove any chunks. Stir in the cream and taste. Gently simmer for 15 minutes. Add more salt, white pepper, chipotle, or paprika if you think it needs it.
*Note about the chipotle: this pepper is spicy! I could handle a full teaspoon of it, but it's always best to start small and work your way up where chiles are concerned. Start off with 1/4 of a teaspoon, stir, taste, and keep adding 1/4 teaspoon more until you reach your desired heat level. If you overdo it, you can cool it down with sour cream or plain yogurt.
(Image: Kathryn Hill)