If this neither-here-nor-there weather, without snow and yet bone-chilling with its mild drizzle from the sunless sky, is any indication (along with some hog's prognostication), spring might be a long way off. A thick, root-based soup therefore seemed like a good idea. And flowers, which remind me of spring.
Many of my soups lately have been based on the some variation of the potato-and-leek soup, like this one, to which I added beets. In the recipe here, I used rutabaga instead of potatoes. Rutabaga is a root vegetable which is a cross between cabbage and turnip. The resulting flavor of the root is much milder than a turnip but a lot more flavorful if you want some variety from things like potatoes. Rutabaga is widely used in Scandinavia, especially this time of year (as for example, mashed potatoes and rutabaga, sometimes with other roots added, which is a welcome break from ordinary mashed potatoes).
This soup is gluten free. I've omitted cream, as I usually do, and I used the very stock generated from the vegetables as they are cooked, so the recipe is also vegan. I've also added a snippet of horseradish root, which is rich in nutrients and and contains antibacterial properties, just for fun. The soup is therefore hearty, healthy, flavorful and filled with good things.
Rutabaga and Zucchini Soup
You will need:
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 medium leeks, chopped
1 small bulb onion (or a small yellow onion), chopped
1/4 cup dry whine wine (optional)
2 zucchinis, coarsely chopped
2 medium rutabaga roots (or 1 large), peeled and coarsely chopped
1 small knob of horseradish root, peeled (optional)
4 cups water
3 tbsp parsley leaves
4-5 basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat olive oil in a stock pot on medium heat. Add leeks and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and softened, about 5-7 minutes. If using, stir in the white wine, bring to a simmer and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Add zucchinis, rutabaga and horseradish and stir. Add water, cover and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook until rutabaga is tender, about 30 minutes.
2. Remove from heat. Strain the vegetables, reserving the stock. Process only the vegetables in a food processor to a consistency of a purée, working in batches if necessary. Add the puréed vegetables back into the stock pot. With a ladle, add the reserved stock, using as much as needed for desired thickness. Bring back to a simmer and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and serve.