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Rutabaga Soup with Cherry-Chile Puree

Updated: February 20, 2011 12:15AM


Taking inspiration from mole, this soup is teamed with creme fraiche panna cotta and a garnish of toasted pumpkin seeds and caramelized cocoa nibs at Sepia, 123 N. Jefferson.

3 pounds peeled, diced rutabaga

1/2 cup peeled, diced parsnip

1/2 cup peeled, diced butternut squash

1 peeled, diced Granny Smith apple

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 thyme sprigs

Salt and pepper

2 cups water

1 ancho chile, stemmed and de-seeded

1 cup dried tart cherries

8 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, diced

1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup white wine

2 bay leaves

1/4 cup pepitas, toasted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place rutabagas in 1 (9-by-13-inch) roasting pan and parsnips, squash and apples in another. Toss with olive oil and thyme, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast until vegetables are just starting to brown, but do not allow them to get too dark (about 20 to 30 minutes for squash mixture and 25 to 35 minutes for rutabaga).

Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in small pot. Toast chile in a hot, dry skillet, gently pressing it down with spatula until it shows signs of softening and is fragrant, about 15 seconds per side. Place toasted chile and cherries in pot of water, removing pot from heat. Allow to rehydrate for 1 hour. Drain, reserving water.

Place cherries and chile in blender, adding only enough soaking liquid to make a smooth puree. Taste, season with salt and reserve.

In large stockpot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and sweat until soft but not colored, about 15 minutes. Add wine and reduce until nearly dry. Add bay leaves and roasted vegetables to pot, along with just enough water to cover ingredients. Raise heat to medium and simmer until tender. Puree vegetables in blender in batches, using only enough cooking liquid to achieve a rich, creamy texture. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls, garnishing each with about a teaspoon’s worth of cherry-chile puree and a sprinkle of pepitas.

Adapted from Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia

Nutrition facts per serving:

405 calories, 27 g fat, 11 g saturated fat, 41 mg cholesterol, 41 g carbohydrates, 19 g sugars, 7 g protein, 212 mg sodium, 12 g fiber

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