Monday 13 September 2010

Swede and Potato Soup

When I was a child, one of my favourite vegetables was swede. (Or rutabaga as it is known in some parts of the world. My mom always just called it turnip.)

Mom always added it to soups and stews . . . they added a beautiful flavour and almost sweetness, which I know is hard to believe, as they can come across as being somewhat bitter at times . . .

But long slow cooking brings out their natural sweetness and that is what I love most about them.

Every Thanksgiving and Christmas my mother would cook a huge pot of Swede and Potato, which would be mashed with lots of butter and cream. Oh my but that was my favourite part of the meal . . . well, next to the turkey that is! Oh and the stuffing! It surely took third place of honour though in the meal of all meals!

In Wales there is a national dish known as Punchnep, which is a buttery, creamy mash of swede and potatoes. I love it. It is the same thing that my mother always made . . . cept we just called it Turnip Mash. We didn't know it was exotic or Welsh or anything like that . . .

We just called it good.

This soup has all the same delightful flavours, along with the addition of leeks, which add an extra special something.

I guess it's like Punchnep amped up.

Whatever . . . it's good, very . . . very good!

*Swede and Potato Soup*
Serves 6 to 8
Printable Recipe

We love swede in this house, or rutabaga as it is known in other parts of the world. It makes a delicious soup when combined with leek and potato. Think of this as leek and potato soup kicked up a notch!

1 1/2 pounds (24 ounces) peeled swede, cut into cubes
1/2 pounds of peeled and cubed potato
the white parts of two large leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced
2 ounces unsalted butter
570ml of chicken stock (approx two cups)
570 ml of milk (approx two cups)
salt and pepper to taste
freshly ground nutmeg to taste

To serve:
Toasted croutons
double cream

Melt the butter over low heat in the bottom of a large saucepan. Add the swede, potatoes and leeks. Stir them around in the butter to coat and then cover the saucepan. Put the lid on and allow to sweat over low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (You can add a TBS or two of the stock if they start to stick.) At the end of 15 minutes, add the stock and the milk. Bring up to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer gently for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are all fork tender. Remove from the heat and puree with a stick blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt, black pepper and nutmeg.

Ladle into hot soup bowls. Drizzle the top with a bit of double cream and float some toasted croutons on top. Garnish with some chives.


  1. Merhabalar, Yeturla lezzet kareleri Bugün bacaklı çorba tarifi ile bloglardan seçmelerde. (
    Sizinde her pazartesi yayınlanmasını istediğiniz yemek tariflerinizi beklerim.


  2. I am not much of a swede lover, but you have made this soup look SO tempting!

  3. Oh man, I love leek and potato soup. And rutabaga sounds like a great addition. I managed to get some sort of head cold over the weekend and have been craving (and eating) lots of soup. This would be perfect! And your pictures (as always) inspire my taste-buds so...

  4. Marie, this looks luscious! My family didn't use rutabage often, but when I grew up and married an Irishman, my MIL made it frequently
    xoxo Pattie

  5. Sooo good...just the thing for autumn days now...mmm... Thank you, Maire. Happy Days :o) LOVE YOU LOTS ((BIG HUGS))

  6. Que estupenda sopa, se ve muy sabrosa.


  7. Looks delicious indeed and the post was very touching and as cozy as coming to one's own home at the end of a tiring day.

  8. I LOVE swede and put it in soup and stew but my real favourite is to cook it slowly in saltd water with carrots then mash it with a little bit of butter and lots of white pepper. Lovely with roast lamb.

  9. Oooh that looks fancy Marie!
    Ps: Yes we must get something sorted soon so we can meet up!

  10. Great, another yummy
    fall soup to try! My
    most favorite is
    butternut squash soup...
    I wonder if squashes
    are an American veggie
    or do you have them in
    the UK?? We can get
    parsnips/turnips, etc.
    so I will be able to
    try this! Thanks, Marie!
    xx Suzanne

  11. In scotland Potato and swede (neeps) are the usual accompanyment to Haggis. If you enjoy this soup and crave a bit more of a meaty flavour crumble through some haggis after blending. It adds a lovely meaty peppery flavour and the texture of the barley is amazing on a cold Scottish winter evening.

  12. In Scotland potatoes and Swede are usually consumed along with our national dish Haggis (Haggis Neeps and Tatties). I can recommend to anyone who enjoyed this soup that if you want to try something a little different try adding some cooked haggis crumbled in after blending it adds such a lovely Peppery Meaty flavour

  13. Very tasty and filling soup!

  14. Lovely soup. Good old turnip afraid I will never be able to call this swede. Turnip and swede were changed by supermarkets in the late 90s and it stuck

    1. This is truly delicious Gela! They will always be turnips to me as well! xo

  15. Your dish looks so amazing. I've run out of chicken to make this dish, so can i use pulled pork instead of chicken for this recipe?

    1. I am not sure what you mean Lita. There is no chicken in this except for stock?


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