Posts Tagged With: swede

Swede and Sorrel Autumn Soup

Bigger than a football, our giant swede (3kgs+)

Bigger than a football, our giant swede (3kgs+)

Swede is a root star!  You may call it a neep, a rutabaga or a yellow turnip.  Whatever the name, not many people agree with me!  Swede is a wonderfully flavoursome vegetable with a real kick of secret mustard-iness that I appreciate (think a concentrated cabbage stem for first time users).  Mashed swede was always my favourite part of my Mum’s traditional Sunday dinner and this soup is like a Sunday dinner in a bowl.  I’ve added a hint of mint here, because our Sunday dinners always came with mint sauce.

Swede is always very cheap, probably the cheapest veggie in town and can be used in so many different ways, check out our Swede, Pear and Tahini Salad to name just one!  Swede has long been known as the ‘poor mans turnip’ which is surely some form of an insult!!!  On my travels around this great globe, I have normally preferred the alleged ‘poor mans’ pickings to the lavish platters of the rich (rich by means normally results in rich OTT foods).

 

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Bigger than my head (that is quite huge!)

This is proper traditional fare, which is perfect as autumn has arrived with a stormy bang in North Wales.  The Beach House is clinging onto Tiger Mountain as the gales and storms (apparently hangovers from some distant hurricanes) are battering us.  We’re inside, eating soup mainly and venturing out in the mornings to see if our new apple tree has blown over and to check that our roof is still all there.  Soup like this, thick and substantial; using things that grow in the garden and veg patch, are what we love to eat when the nights draw in.  Packed with extra nutrition and the antioxidants we need to fight things like colds and other early winter bugs.  As ever, trying to keep things simple and local is a great challenge for me!  I love food from all over the world and cannot help but lob a little spice and a smidgen of chilli into most of the dishes I cook.  This swede soup is stripped to the stem and given a frilly sorrel lining.

The sorrel here grows like wildfire in our garden and we are ever attempting new ways to use it up.  In soups and stews it does lose its vibrant green hue, but maintains that lovely punchy, bitter apple like flavour.  We stir the leaves in at the end to maintain all their vitality and potency.  Use alternate leaves like spinach if sorrel is not growing in your garden or local area.  If you’re in the UK, Im sure you’ll find some hanging around hedgerows or woodlands.

Prepare yourselves, for a classic British Sunday dinner, it a bowl!

Fresh garden rosemary

Fresh garden rosemary

The Bits – Maks 6 decent bowls

1 tbs oil

750g swede (a mere small chunk out of our behemoth)

3 potatoes

2 large celery sticks

1 onion

2 carrots

(All cut into rough chunks)

2 large sprigs rosemary

1 teas dried mint

4 big handfuls of sorrel (keep a few smaller leaves to make it look nice at the end)

750ml warm vegetable stock (with hot water ready as needed)

Salt (if needed, stock is normally salty to start with)

 

Nutritional yeast flakes (optional – for added vegan savoury fun)

Simmering Swedes

Simmering Swedes

Do It

In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, warm the oil on medium low heat and add all the veggies at once. Stir and sauté for 5 minutes, then add the stock and rosemary, covering the veggies by roughly 1 inch with liquid.  Pop lid on and simmer for 45 minutes until the carrots are soft (they take the longest to cook).  Add the dried mint, pick out the rosemary sprigs and blend smooth with a stick blender or pour in batches into a food processor.  Stir in the sorrel leaves and pour into bowls immediately.

Serve

Scatter a few little sorrel leaves on top to look nice and serve to empty bellies and full hearts.  I f you like easy to make bread recipes, try Jane’s Wonder Loaf, preferably toasted and drizzled with rapeseed oil.

Swede and Sorrel Soup

Swede and Sorrel Soup

Foodie Fact

Swede comes from guess where?…….its a tough one I know, but the answer is Sweden.  It was traditionally grown to feed cattle, lucky cows!

Swede is a member of the cabbage family.  It is a great source of nutrients, especially vitamin C and A, making it a perfect autumn boost.  It also contains plenty of fibre, potassium and even calcium.  It also happens to be low in calories, probably due to its cabbage connections.  For all these reasons and because it tastes great, we should all be eating swede like happy cattle.  Its just not very cool is all!

Our neighbourky horses didn't think much of the swede

Our neighbourky horses didn’t think much of the swede

Categories: Autumn, Recipes, Soups | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Pear, Swede & Tahini Salad

Image from ‘How stuff works’ via the brilliant ‘Affairs of Living’ blog

A quick and easy salad using the humble swede and giving it quite a special dress.

Now I call a swede, a turnip, turns out I’m confused (and wrong).  Some people call it rutabaga (which is the best name by a mile) or Swedish turnip, apparently it goes by many names.  In the North East of England, a swede was a turnip.  At least in the 80’s it was!

Swede is one of my favourite roasted vegetables, so sweet. I always remember it being mashed with potato for Sunday dinner and this is still my favourite mash.

This is a very different recipe from that of my childhood mash up days, but I have changed quite a bit in the last 25 years!

This salad is crunchy and the addition of pumpkin seeds means extra crunch.  This crunch says to me that the food is fresh and alive. I just felt like giving the humble swede a little light for a while.  It’s so often overlooked.

ELEPHANT GARLIC

Now I understand Elephant garlic flowers are hard to come by.  I did not know they existed.  Hooton’s (our local farm shop) have a selection for the time being and it is a fascinating thing.  The stems (or trunks) have a hot, intensely garlic flavour.  Like wild garlic, but elephant-like.  (They may actually be called Elephant Ear Garlic.)

We sliced all of the veg/pear in a food processor, something I don’t normally use, I was surprised how easy it was.

The Bits

1 medium swede (peeled)

2 ripe pears (cored)

2 celery sticks (chopped)

Handful mangetout (hand chopped into chunks)

1 handful of elephant garlic flowers and stems (chopped – our ingredient of the moment) or wild garlic

1 handful raisins

1 handful pumpkin seeds

1 handful sprouted mung beans

Black pepper

 

Dressing

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

2 tbs light tahini

1 tbs light molasses

Pinch nutmeg

Pinch sea salt

Splash of water (to thin)

 

 

Do It

Put the swede, pear and celery into the food processor, roughly chop up your mangetout and garlic flowers.  Arrange in your finest salad bowl, stir in pumpkin seeds, raisins and sprouts.

For the dressing add all bits to a deep bowl and blend together with a hand blender.  The molasses will take a while to get involved, you may need blend for a while.  If the sauce is too thick, water down a little.

 

Serve

When you’re ready to serve, pour over the dressing and sprinkle a few more sprouts and seeds.  Remember that with salads, height is good. A stacked up salad looks very cool indeed.

 

We Love It!

I love combining fruit and veg in salads and this salad pays homage to the humble swede.  It is a delicious veg raw and I am surprised that people don’t use it more often.

 

Foodie Fact

Swede is full of vitamin C and dietary fibre.and dietary fibre.  One cup of swede gives you 50% of your vitamin C requirements.

Because we like to share at the Beach House, here is ‘Youth Lagoon – 17’. We listen to this when making salads:

Categories: Healthy Eating, Raw Food, Recipes, Salads, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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