Fall Stew with Rutabagas, Roots, and Greens

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. 

ingredients for fall stew with rutabagas, roots, and greens

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.

fall stew with rutabagas, roots, and greens - plated

Photos by Anne Kingma

fall stew with rutabagas, roots, and greens - plated
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5 from 2 votes

Fall Stew with Rutabagas, Roots, and Greens

A vegetable-based fall stew that will warm you up from the inside out.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Keyword: carrots, radishes, rutabagas, stew, turnips
Servings: 4 people


  • 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)
  • 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.


To make some tasty leftovers, double this recipe, and freeze in serving size portions for a quick lunch. This stew pairs wonderfully with a crusty bread or skillet cornbread.


  1. Lynn S on November 3, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    5 stars
    I made this veggie stew tonight mostly as written. I did use lots of veggies – the rutabaga, turnips, and carrots, but also radishes and even a stray parsnip. I also used all sorts of greens – radish tops, beet tops, kale, spinach. I used 2/3 of the butter called for and a little less cream. It was very excellent. One secret, for me, is fresh ground nutmeg… The little nuggets are cheap, and the taste is completely different from the preground stuff. I’ll definitely make this again!

    • Julie Oudman Perkins on November 4, 2020 at 6:32 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Lynn! I love the idea of using all those green tops that are so often forgotten. And we’ve never cooked with fresh nutmeg, but we’re going to give it a try now!

      • Lynn S on November 19, 2020 at 4:05 pm

        You can get those nutmeg nuggets ( and a bunch of other ethic stuff) at a great price at the farmers market on the southeast corner of 55 and 30, across from The Great Escape.

  2. Mary Jo Lesniak on February 28, 2021 at 6:12 pm

    5 stars
    Really delicious and quite economical!
    Was curious about using nutmeg-delightful.
    Spinach was my green of choice.
    Thanks for a great recipe!

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