In this winter soup we glorify the often-overlooked rutabaga. Simmered slowly and then blended with smoky paprika, this earthy root vegetable transforms into a velvety and irresistible bisque.
Beverage pairing: Royal Oak Pale Ale, England. Soft bubbles make for a nice contrast with a creamy bisque, while the modestly sweet malt of an ale will not offend the rutabaga. A light hoppy character in the beer adds complexity to the pairing without bringing in bitterness.
- Yield: 6 to 8 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 50 mins
- Active: 20 mins
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 medium celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds rutabaga, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 4 1/4 cups)
- 4 cups (1 quart) low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 2 1/2 teaspoons high-quality smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Once butter foams, add onion and celery, and season generously with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender but not browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add rutabaga and broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until rutabaga is tender when pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. Add half-and-half, paprika, and white pepper and stir to combine.
- Allow soup to cool slightly, then purée in a blender until smooth. (You will have to do this in batches.) Taste and season with more salt and white pepper as needed.
Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.