Sunday, January 27, 2013

Carrot and Rutabaga (swede) soup with lime

Carrot and yellow rutabaga (swede) soup with lime

I am a big fan of winter vegetables. Carrots, beetroots, celeriac, rutabaga (aka swede in Europe), potatoes, salcify, ... In European climate they store well either in the cold stores or in some countries even in the ground. For example in the UK where the climate is milder carrots can be stored in the ground over winter. In Estonia it would not be the case as the temperatures fall and stay well under zero (Celcius) and the fields are covered in snow for weeks if not months in good winters.

These days the farmers´market on the main square in the Swiss capital has been pushed to one side making room for a temporary skating rink. In very cold days some of the farmers don´t come out and in their usual places under the arches of the market streets would be a few yawning gaps. Still there is plenty of choice to fill up each basket and trolley bag with winter vegetables, a wide range of apples and pears, fresh eggs, cheeses, butter as well as fish and meat.

Behind one of the vegetable counters is a couple, perhaps in their fifties. The man, always in winter wearing a blue knitted hat that stands up like an Egiptian pyramid on his head, his ears reaching above the rim of the hat keeping the pyramid steady on both sides. He is very energetic and talks funny in a loud voice, often measuring the vegies by eye or a feel of their weight by hand. My pound of potatoes turned out to be just over 600g when I weighed them at home. The funniest part is getting the change back, some of it is "for the taxes", the coins often "for a cup of coffee" or some other treat. :-) I bet his wife is having a laugh at home like their customers are entertained on Saturday mornings.

Carrot and yellow rutabaga (swede) soup with lime
Ingredients (for 4 as a starter or 2 as a supper)

2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium shallot onion (ca 50g), sliced
3-4 garlic cloves
1 rutabaga (ca 200g), peeled and cut into cubes
250g carrots, cut into cubes 
800ml vegetable stock
1 stalk of lemongrass
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 tbsp desiccated coconut
salt, pepper
1 tbsp cream or coconut milk  
1 tbsp lime juice
1 green onion stalk, finely chopped 

Carrot, swede, onion, ginger, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass

Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onions until glassy, add the garlic and cut vegetables. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes before adding the stock, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, desiccated coconut. Bring to boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until carrots and rutabaga are soft. They both have similar cooking time.

Purée with a mixer, add the cream and season to taste with salt, pepper and lime juice.
Serve hot with green onions.

Swede and carrot soup seasoned with lime and lemongrass

You may also like these soups:
White swede (rutabaga) and celeraic soup (with fish)
Spicy sweet potato soup
Leek and potato soup with blue Stilton
Carrot soup with courgette (zucchini) and fresh salmon