Famous Fall Roots Soup

A trio of fall root vegetables — carrots, leeks, and a rutabaga — forms the savory foundation of this soup. Puréed and enriched with crème fraîche, this potage, with its velvety, smooth texture and glorious orange hue, is always a hit — whether it’s a first course or the main attraction.

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2-1/2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (3 to 4 medium leeks)
  • 1-1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium rutabaga (1 to 1-1/2 pounds), peeled and diced
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • Kosher salt
  • 1-1/4 cups crème fraîche
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Heat butter in a large, heavy pot (with a lid) over medium-high heat. When melted and hot, add leeks, carrots, and rutabaga. Sauté vegetables until softened, for 10 minutes or longer. Add stock and bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, for about 30 minutes.
2. Purée the soup in batches in a food processor, blender, or food mill, and return soup to the pot. (Or use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot.) Whisk in 3/4 cup of the crème fraîche. Taste soup and season with salt, as needed. (The soup can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat.)
3. To serve, ladle soup into shallow soup bowls. Garnish each serving with a generous dollop of the remaining 1/2 cup crème fraîche and a sprinkling of parsley.

LYNNE’S TIPS

• Rutabaga is an often overlooked root vegetable member of the cabbage family. Its pale yellow flesh is slightly sweet. Choose ones with smooth skin and firm flesh that are heavy for their size.
• A sliced yam added to this soup would bring out a sweet touch and play well with the rutabaga.
• This soup can be made ahead and its flavor will only improve.
• When you have time, try roasting the vegetables before cooking them into a soup. Toss the chopped vegetables with a little olive oil, spread them out on a shallow pan and roast at 425 degrees F until they begin to soften and caramelize. Flavors will be more intense.

Makes 8 servings.

Excerpted from Sunday Soup: A Year’s Worth of Mouthwatering, Easy-to-Make Recipes by Betty Rosbottom (Chronicle Books LLC). Copyright © 2008 by Betty Rosbottom.

Dutch Split Pea Soup

  • 1 lb. dried green split peas
  • 2 1/2 qts. cold water
  • 1/4 c. diced salt pork
  • 1/2 c. chopped leeks
  • 1/2 c. chopped celery
  • 1/2 c. chopped onions
  • 1/2 c. celeriac (celery root), optional
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 pigs knuckle, optional
  • 1 smoked Dutch ring sausage, sliced, or 1 c. sliced Polish sausage or hot dogs
  • Chopped parsley

Rinse peas under cold water and remove all foreign particles.  Place peas in large kettle, add the water, cover and let stand overnight.  Or boil 2 minutes and let soak 1 hour. In a skillet, cook the salt pork 5 minutes.  Add the vegetables and cook 10 minutes, until tender but not browned. Add the salt pork mixture, bay leaf, salt and pigs knuckle to the peas.  Cover and bring slowly to a boil.  Reduce the heat, skim foam from the top and simmer gently 2 hours or until the meat on the pigs knuckle separates from the bone.  Remove the pigs knuckle, shred the meat and reserve.  Discard the bone and the bay leaf.  Strain the soup and press the vegetables through a sieve, or puree in a blender or food processor.  Return the meat and sieved vegetables to the soup kettle and adjust the seasonings.  Add the sliced sausages and simmer 5 minutes longer.   Serve the soup piping hot and garnish each portion with chopped parsley.

6 to 10 servings.

Cottage Cheese and Leek Pie

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 4 cups sliced leeks (3 or 4 leeks)
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp each salt, dry mustard
  • 1/8 tsp each nutmeg, pepper
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 single pie crust, unbaked

Sauté leeks in butter until tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in flour, cook a few minutes, add milk and cook till thick.  Add seasonings.  Cool to lukewarm.  Blend cottage cheese with eggs.  Stir into leek mixture.  Pour into pie shell.

Bake at 375º for 45 minutes or till browned.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Celery Root and Wild Rice Chowder

  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 1 celery root (about 1 pound)
  • 2 large leeks, white parts only
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 celery rib, diced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced russet potato
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large thyme sprig
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable stock, chicken stock or water
  • 2 cups half-and-half or milk
  • truffle oil, optional

Cover wild rice with 5 cups water in small  saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or until tender.  Thickly cut away celery root skins, then quarter and chop the root into bite-sized pieces. You should
have about 3 cups. Chop and wash leeks.  Melt butter in a soup pot. Add vegetables, parsley, bay leaf, thyme, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, then add stock.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add half-and-half and simmer until vegetables are tender. Taste for salt and season with pepper. To
give soup a creamy background, puree a cup of the vegetables and return them to the pot (don’t forget to remove bay leaf!). If soup is too thick, thin with rice water or additional stock.  Divide soup among 4 or 6 bowls and add a mound of wild rice to each. Garnish with parsley and a drop of truffle oil, if using, and serve.

From Local Flavors by Deborah Madison

Butternut Leek Soup

Here is a wonderfully simple recipe that marries the flavors of leeks and squash. It makes a rich but low-calorie soup that warms you up on wet fall days.  Bake a winter squash (butternut, acorn or Delicata) when the flesh is tender scoop it out and set aside.  Sauté one large or two small leeks in a little olive oil until translucent and tender.  At the same time bring four cups of stock (vegetable or chicken) or water to a boil.  Add the leeks and the flesh of the squash to the stock; season with herbs (salt, pepper, bay, thyme, dill or any combination) and bring to a boil again.  Take the soup off the heat and allow it to cool a bit.  Puree the soup in a blender and serve with sour cream or yogurt garnish.

Braised Leeks

Trim the leeks, but keep whole.  If you have a particularly long leek, cut into 6-8 inch sections, treating each section as a whole leek.  Split down one side to within 1 inch of the base.  Rinse under lukewarm water to clean.  In a heavy bottomed pan, melt 2-3 Tbs of butter (or use equivalent in olive oil).  Roll the leeks around in the butter or oil until they are well coated and cook until slightly browned.  Add stock or water to half cover the leeks and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and continue to simmer until the base can be easily pierced with a knife.  Drain off any remaining liquid and serve with a cream sauce or tomato sauce (either of which can be made with the left over braising liquid).

From The Victory Garden Cookbook.

Barley Risotto with Greens, Radicchio and Leeks

  • 1 ¼ cups pearl barley
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. spring greens
  • 4 large radicchio or endive leaves, torn
  • 1 lemon, finely grated zest and juice
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Put barley in a large heatproof bowl and add sufficient boiling water to cover. Let sit 10 minutes to soften the barley a little, then drain well and set aside. Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Add the greens and radicchio and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until the leaves soften. Add the lemon zest and juice, stir well, and set aside. Put the stock in a large saucepan set over low heat and gently warm through while you start the risotto. Put the remaining tablespoon of oil in a saucepan set over medium heat. Add the leeks and the garlic and cook for 4-5 minutes until the leeks are soft and silky. Add the barley and herbs and stir for 1 minute. Add a ladleful of the warmed stock and cook, stirring constantly, until almost all the stock has been absorbed. Repeat the process until all the stock has been incorporated and the barley is almost cooked through—the risotto will be quite wet. Add the greens and radicchio to the pan and stir well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, sprinkle with parsley and serve hot. Serves 4. From Easy Vegan from Ryland Peters and Small.