A trio of fall root vegetables — carrots, leeks, and a swede — 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. Ingredients 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 swede (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
Method 1. Heat butter in a large, heavy pot (with a lid) over medium-high heat. When melted and hot, add leeks, carrots, and swede. 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 (Swede) 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.