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.