Rutabaga Bisque with Smoked Paprika

November 20th, 2008  |  Published in All, Delectable Dairy, Most Popular, Onion, Rutabaga, Veritable Vegetables, Weeknight Recipes  |  13 Comments

Rutabaga Bisque with Smoked Paprika

I was looking out my apartment window the other day when my gaze came to rest on a tree about fifteen feet away from the house.  I have to climb a set of stairs to get to my door, so when I look out the window I see branches and foliage at eye level rather than tree trunks.  This particular tree has elongated sage colored leaves that come to a point at both the tip and the stem.  I have looked at this tree hundreds if not thousands of times, along with the many many other trees visible from the window, but never really considered it.  But this particular day, something clicked, and when looking at the little black fruits hanging from the branches, I realized, ‘holy crap!  we have an olive tree in the back yard!’  I’ve been living here going on 18 months, and shockingly, I had never noticed it before!

Thats a little bit how I feel about rutabagas too — I walked past piles of them at the grocery store for years before ever picking one up.  And when I finally did try it, I found it to be delicious!  A humble, nutritious, adaptable, and hearty vegetable, the rutabaga is an under appreciated and under utilized vegetable.  Whether roasted, mashed, boiled, made into a gratin, or used as a soup base, rutabagas can be supremely tasty.

This soup, besides being tasty and more complexly flavored than you might expect from the short list of ingredients, is incredibly easy to prepare — coarsely chop some vegetables, saute, add stock, cook, add cream and spices, then puree.  Easy as… well, I would say pie, but this is WAY easier to make than pie! :)  Try it on a chilly fall evening with some crusty bread, a green salad, and a glass of red wine, and I am sure you will not be disappointed.

And one final comment about the olive tree — as trite as it may sound, you will often find surprises in places you were never looking for them, particularly right under your nose.  Take a good look at your surroundings — you might be surprised with what you find!

And one final final note: last week Modern Beet turned 1 year old!  Thanks to everyone who reads this blog and for all the thoughtful comments you have left!  I’ve had a lot of fun adding new recipes and musings to Modern Beet, and also learning from all you other wonderful cooks in the foodie blog world!

Rutabaga Bisque with Smoked Paprika

3 T. butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 medium celery stalks, chopped
1 1/2 lb. rutabaga, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 c. low-sodium vegetable stock
2 c. half and half
1 t. ground white pepper
2 1/2 t. smoked paprika

Melt butter in a large soup kettle. Add the onions and celery, season with salt, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add rutabaga and stock, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes until rutabaga can be easily pierced with a fork. Add half and half, white pepper, and smoked paprika then stir to blend. Puree the soup until smooth with an immersion or regular blender. Garnish with a bit of smoked paprika. Enjoy!

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  1. Maggie says:

    November 20th, 2008at 5:56 pm(#)

    I have been purposefully and unfairly passing by rutabagas for years. This sounds like a great way to get over that. I’ll eat almost anything with smoked paprika on it.

  2. denise says:

    November 20th, 2008at 6:04 pm(#)

    happy birthday! i had no idea that modern beet was a scorpio : )

  3. Jesse says:

    November 20th, 2008at 9:29 pm(#)

    An olive tree – what a fantastic surprise! Your post is moving me towards rutabagas, which I never thought possible. I’m definitely trying this!

  4. Jen says:

    November 21st, 2008at 10:35 am(#)

    Maggie – I love smoked paprika and have been putting it on just about everything since I ‘discovered’ the spice a few months ago… a current favorite it fresh popcorn with a little melted butter and smoked paprika

    denise – thanks! your comment made me laugh :)

    Jesse – it’s too bad that I am moving in about 6 weeks or I would try my hand at home curing olives…

  5. maybelles mom (feeding maybelle) says:

    November 23rd, 2008at 10:29 am(#)

    Congrats on turning one. I find rutabagas too as a new friend–i have made them into fries but not soup. Will put this on the list.

  6. Debs says:

    November 23rd, 2008at 8:17 pm(#)

    I’ve never cooked with rutabagas, I admit. Your recipe is inspiring me, especially because I’m a fellow smoked paprika addict.

    Food Is Love/Seattle Local Food

  7. White On Rice Couple says:

    November 28th, 2008at 12:07 pm(#)

    How funny that something so beautiful was right in front of you and you never knew it! It happens to be all the time too. So often I’ll walk through my own garden and overlook something. And before I know it, there’s a new plant that came up from seed and it didn’t hit me until it was 3 feet tall!
    There’s always something new to discover everyday!

    Beautiful bique! It’s so perfect for this time of year!

  8. Jude says:

    November 29th, 2008at 1:21 am(#)

    I know what you mean about the rutabagas… I’ve never picked any myself. Will have to try this recipe so I can introduce myself to it!

  9. Erin says:

    December 2nd, 2008at 9:20 am(#)

    You lucky girl! I dream about having an olive tree.

    The soup the other night and must tell you that it was delicious! Rutabagas rock.

    Happy blogiversary to you too!

  10. parsnips aplenty says:

    December 6th, 2008at 11:17 pm(#)

    Hey, I’ve made this on my blog too! What a great recipe it is. I love your site, as well.

  11. siri says:

    February 15th, 2009at 6:43 am(#)

    Yum, Yum, Yum! I adore rutabagas and would never have thought of adding smoked paprika to a rutabaga soup.

    P.S. I just came across your blog today, but love what I’ve seen just on this first page. Defiantly will be checking back in!

  12. Carol Maness says:

    March 10th, 2009at 4:03 pm(#)

    Dear Jan,
    You are an amazing young woman. I’m very proud of you and all of your accomplishments. We had so much fun playing Tea Party with your play tea set and your dolls.
    Grandmother Carol

  13. Cheril says:

    January 11th, 2013at 5:25 pm(#)

    I’ve never had rutabagas before; I am trying this recipe out tonight. Thank you for posting!

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