One of my favorite food groups is the brothy stew, like this one filled with roots and greens. When I did Noom at the beginning of 2020, I even made the delightful discovery that stew works for any meal, including breakfast on a cold fall or winter morning.
This stew features our fall root crops, including the new-to-our-CSA rutabaga. A member of the Brassicae family, the rutabaga is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. When roasted or stewed, the rutabaga reveals a subtle sweetness. According to Deborah Madison (and my own cooking experience), rutabaga pairs well with flavors like nutmeg, parsley, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf.
Keys to this stew include using:
- roots grown in season, where the cold increases the sweetness of the rutabagas, carrots, turnips, radishes, and greens.
- broth instead of water. I use homemade chicken or beef broth. You can use vegetable broth if you prefer vegetarian stew.
- touches of nutmeg and cream.
Photos by Anne Kingma
Fall Stew with Rutabagas, Roots, and Greens
- cutting board
- chef's knife
- soup pot or Dutch oven
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp kosher salt (add more in step 7 if needed)
- 1 pound rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1" pieces (1 medium rutabaga)
- 1 pound carrots, cut into 1.5" pieces (6-8 medium carrots)
- 1 pound turnips or radishes, cut into 1.5" pieces (6-8 medium turnips or 1 large radish. Use turnips for a sweeter flavor or radish for a more earthy taste.)
- 2 bay leaves
- 12 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only (2 tsp thyme leaves)
- 3¼ cups vegetable, beef, or chicken stock (reserve ¼ cup cold broth to mix with cornstarch)
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 2 cups rough chopped greens (spinach, kale, or swiss chard)
- freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Heat butter in soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat for 5-8 minutes, or until the butter has browned slightly and emits a nutty aroma.
- Add onion, nutmeg, and 2 tsp kosher salt. Stir to coat the onions. Turn up heat to medium-high. Cook 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are fragrant and beginning to brown.
- Add rutabaga, carrots, turnips or radishes, bay leaves, and thyme. Stir to coat. Cook over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, or until veggies begin to soften slightly.
- Add stock and cover to bring to boil. Lower heat to keep stew at a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes or until vegetables are at your preferred tenderness.
- Stir together corn starch and reserved ¼ cup cold broth. Slowly add to hot stew, stirring thoroughly to combine. Continue to cook for 5 minutes, or until cornstarch activates and stew thickens slightly.
- Add chopped greens. Cook 1-2 minutes until wilted.
- Turn off heat. Taste. Add salt if needed. Add freshly ground black pepper. Stir in cream and serve.