Creamy Rutabaga, Parsnip and Cheddar Soup

A beautiful, creamy, soul soothing soup.Creamy and comforting.

Serving Size: 6

Creamy Rutabaga, Parsnip and Cheddar Soup / Katie Workman
I got a rutabaga in my CSA.  It sounds like a country music song, right?  A slightly off-putting country music song, one that wouldn’t do very well.  But you know, I’ve been writing about the various kinds of produce you get in CSA’s, the items that make us say, “huh,” and tuck it in the back of the counter or the fridge.  The kinds of produce that linger around mooning, moping, waiting, daring us to figure out what to do with it.  But if you let it rot…well, then the rutabaga wins.

But my rutabagas were not going to perish in vain.  No, no, they were going to become a beautiful, creamy, soul soothing soup.  And I see you, too, over there, you parsnips!

You can use pretty much any root vegetables you have to make similar soups.  Peel off any skin that’s thick or waxed or quite dirty, or just give the vegetables a good scrub if they have a thin skin, like parsnips or carrots.  Did you mother or grandmother always say, “all of the vitamins are in the skin?”  Mine did.  Rules of thumb I have heard is that if your thumbnail can break the peel, you can eat it, and if the peel is a different color than the rest of the produce than it contains extra nutrients.

Anyway, if the peel looks thick or gross, toss it, and if not scrub and leave it.

The color of the cheddar, white, yellow, or orangey, will affect the color of the soup.  No right or wrong here, but something to contemplate.  This is a pretty cheesy soup, I will readily admit.  If you don’t want your soup to be so decadently cheesy….well, I admire you, and you are welcome to reduce the amount by up to half.

A swirl of sour cream or yogurt, a flamboyant drizzle of Sriracha or other hot sauce and a sprinkle of parsley are optional.  They are optional because a) you might not have one or more of them, b) you might not like one or more of them, or c)  you might feel like, “eh, I made soup, that’s enough, go get your own garnishes if you want.”

They all add nice visual contrast as well, but none of this should be a game stopper.

Creamy Rutabaga, Parsnip and Cheddar Soup


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 large rutabagas, peeled and diced
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 5 cups less sodium chicken or vegetable broth, or more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon pureed chipotles in adobo
  • 1½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream

To serve (optional):

  • Chopped parsley
  • Sour cream, plain yogurt, or crème fraiche
  • Sriracha or other hot sauce

1. In a large pot melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and the celery and sauté for about 4 minutes, until tender. Add the rutabagas and parsnips and stir, then pour in the broth, raise the heat to high and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, for about 25 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

2. Use an immersion blender to puree the vegetables right in the pot, or carefully transfer the vegetables and some of the liquid in batches to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Return the soup to the pot, if needed, and stir in the chipotles in adobo and sprinkle in the cheese, stirring as you do this, until the cheese is melted. Add more broth if the soup seems very thick. Add the sour cream and heat just until heated through. Serve hot, with chopped parsley and a bloop of sour cream, yogurt or crème fraiche and some hot sauce if desired.

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