October 9, 2011

Root Cellar Soup with Smoked Ham

Fall is nearly here and this reminds me of Halloween, the spooky month of October. The neighbors had already started with the Halloween decorations of scary ghouls, spiders, and carved pumpkins. It also means that it's time to put away the summer clothing’s and think about warm hearty soups. This brings to mind a soup that is my family’s favorite. It is made with root vegetables: turnips, carrots, leeks, onions, and rutabagas. I've added another root vegetable, rutabaga. If you like turnips you'll love rutabagas is it has a mild bitterness that is balanced with a sweet earthiness. Hope this coming fall brings you much warm and a season of joy.
Ingredients: (adapted from Bon Appetit, Dec-94 issue)
¼ lb smoked ham, cut into small cubes
½ stick butter (¼ cup)
3 chopped leeks (use white and pale green parts only)
½ white onion, chopped
3 medium sized turnips (peeled and chopped)
1 rutabaga (peeled and chopped)
5-6 cups low-salt chicken broth
3 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme (or ½ tsp. dried)
1. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped ham and saute until it beginning to brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drained off any excess fat into a bowl.
2. Add carrots, leek, onion, thyme and bay leaf and stir until onion and leeks are translucent. Add in broth, turnips and rutabaga and bring to a simmer. Cook until vegetables are tender about 30-35 minutes.
3. Remove bay leaves, and thyme if using fresh ones. Puree soup in small batches in a blender when it is cool enough to handle. Stir in the ham. (Soup can be made a day ahead and chill in the refrigerator)
4. Bring soup to a simmer, thinning with more broth if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into warmed tureen or bowls and serve with toast or freshly made bread.
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1 comment:

Terrie said...
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