07 September 2008

Swede Soup

All along the way to Te Anau and Milford Sound we saw signs that read, "Swedes- $1." "Uh, what the heck's a swede," I wondered. I figured that maybe on the way home we'd pull over, run up to one of those boxes of swedes, drop in a little gold coin and take home a mystery produce product. Alas, we drove home at night, and we didn't see any of those signs.

Fortunately, that very weekend we went to the farmer's market, and lo and behold! Folks had swedes for sale. Now that we saw them up close, we still didn't know what the heck you were supposed to do with them or, more importantly, what they tasted like. The girl at the stand said they were like potatoes, but less starchy. And they tasted more like turnips. She said you can eat them pretty much the same as a potato. So we bought one. But it was $1.50. Then we mourned those fifty cents and lamented the fact we had not bought a swede on our trip. (As you can see from the photos, swedes are a lot like turnips. As you cannot see from the photo, swedes are quite a bit larger- about the size of cantaloupes).

Fortunately that $1.50 was well spent. That same day at the market we bought leeks, and can you believe that it was my first time to buy leeks? Crazy, I know. Anyway, we got home and felt like we needed to get cooking with our new vegetables straight away. After all, we have very limited fridge space.

After much deliberation we decided on swede and leek soup. So, I found this recipe for potato and leek soup, and we set to work. I have always really liked potato soup, particularly my mom's version. We were both really happy with this recipe, and I was especially glad I added celery as celery is crucial to potato soup. I again learned the excellent value of cream. How does anybody cook without it? Everything is better with cream.

Anyway, the soup was really yummy, very easy, and quite healthy, which is why we made it again yesterday. We've still got some of that swede left, not to mention lots of leeks, so perhaps there is more swede and leek soup in our future!


Matt Turner said...

You may have found this out already, but swedes (from "Swedish turnip") are known in the U.S. as rutabaga. I don't know if I've ever had rutabaga, but I've at least heard of it. As a side note, they're commonly used for jack-o'-lanterns in Great Britain, since they don't have many pumpkins there.

Anonymous said...

I live in the UK and I have never seen a swede as a jack-o-lantern!!

Anonymous said...

I too live in the UK and have never seen a swede used as a lantern. We have plenty of big bland pumpkins and they tend to get mutilated for the purpose.

Anonymous said...

Indeed - No swede of mine has ever been used as a Lantern. They make pumpkins so cheap around that time of year that almost everyone has a pumpkin lantern outside there house! Keep your swedes for soup!