Continuing my mission to use up the roots in my refrigerator, I made a delicious pureed soup of rutabaga, parsnips, potato, sweet potato and leeks. Just about any combination or variation of proportions would work. I used a homemade light chicken broth from my freezer but vegetable stock or even water would be fine. If you have a leftover cheese rind, you could add it while cooking.
In addition to the soup itself, what I liked about this was the sage garnish. I had two options: harvest what’s left of the sage poking up out of the snow and sautéing it to a crisp; or using the sage that I store in a Weck canning jar full of coarse salt. During the summer when fresh sage is plentiful in my pot garden or at the Farm, I harvest leaves and layer them with an abundance of coarse salt in a large jar with a tight lid. For many months, they remain leathery, almost fresh. Eventually they become brittle but are still amazingly flavorful.
2 leeks, cleaned and sliced
1 tbsp butter or oil
About 4 cups of cubed root vegetables
1 quart chicken broth or water to cover
Salt and pepper to taste
Sage — dried leaves or fresh
Olive oil for frying the sage leaves if using fresh ones
Sauté the leek in the butter or oil until translucent, add the root vegetables and stick and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 35-40 minutes or until the vegetables and cooked through. Puree the soup, add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with dried sage leaves or with fresh sage sauteed in a little olive oil and sprinkled with salt.
Categories: Carrots, Herbs, Leeks, Pantry, Parsnips, Potatoes, Preserving, Soup, Sweet potato, Turnips and rutabagas
I’ve never heard of this sage technique! Great idea. Does it work for other herbs, too?
I bet it would work for woody herbs like rosemary and summer savory, maybe for thyme. I’ve done this only with sage since the trick is to add enough salt between layers so that the leaves are in contact with salt and not with other leaves. Otherwise, they can become moldy. The jar I photographed is about finished and pretty pathetic. Next year, I’m going to try salting the leaves in a wider, shallower airtight container.