January King Cabbage Soup with Swede and Carrots

Cabbage is most definitely one of the larger vegetables, so it comes in handy to have a few dishes to make with it and this soup recipe is definitely one of them! By using swede rather than potatoes, the flavour intensifies.

Time Preparing: 10 mins
Time Cooking: 30 mins
Serves: 2
Difficulty: 2/5
Season: Autumn / Winter

Ingredients
– A quarter of January King cabbage
– 150 g Swede
– 2 Carrots
– 1 Red Onion
– 500ml of veg stock
– 1tsp Bicarbonate Soda
– 1tbsp Olive Oil

Method
1. Wash the Cabbage, then cook in a pan of boiling water for 15 mins, with bicarbonate soda
2. Peel the onion and chop into fine slices
3. Peel Carrots and Swede
4. In a large pan, heat olive oil and add onions for 5mins on a medium heat
5. Add carrots and swede and continue to cook for 5 more mins
6. Add the cabbage in pieces, then the veg stock
7. Cover with a lid and cook on a medium heat for 30mins
8. Blend to desired consistency and serve with creme fresh (optional)

 

This recipe was created for Tower Green Hamlets by Pauline Cuisine

Neeps and Nips

We hope you like the increased variety in the boxes so far and we have sweet potatoes, romano peppers and out-of-season Spanish courgettes making a rare appearance in the boxes this week.

Go East with a curry-ish sweet potato, pepper and coconut soup. Or ditch the ground coriander and use fresh coriander along with fish sauce and a squeeze lime for some Thai inspiration. Throw in some tofu or chicken, noodles or rice and you are all sorted. Or try a sweet potato shepherd’s pie which also uses up your swede?

If you are still wondering what to do with your swede (also known as rutabaga by Americans and Swedes or neeps by the Scots) and turnips, then consider that they make a wonderful pair, and include them both in this roasted root vegetable with tomatoes and kale stew, along with parsnips if you’ve got the no-potato sub.

Grate your raw turnips and courgette (works well with carrots and beetroot also for some colour, if you still have some lurking around) and toss well with this dressing: plum sauce, sesame oil and lime juice. Top off with some chopped roasted peanuts (if they don’t send you to A&E in an anaphylaxis state of course).

And check out Nigel Slater’s swede-ish ideas: swede with butter and stock and baked swede. Oh so simple ways to spruce up a somewhat unloved and under appreciated veg. Or Burns night is long over, but with the potential great EU divorce happening, maybe celebrate that the Scots are still with us with a haggis (with the full works, or vegeterian if you like), neeps and tatties.

For the ultimate recipe of the week check out this lentil soup with carrots, turnips and kale – it even uses up your sweet potatoes and onions.

And if you are a lady and haven’t been up to our dear Vicky Park lately and wondering what all those funky pink and purple lights are about, then it’s time to pop over to check out the launch of the adidas Pure X Boost range which are female only running trainers – we did say you need to be of the finer sex, didn’t we?

There are three more nights of park run (last one on Sunday night), just show up at the tent past the boating lake a little before 7pm.  Throughout the day there are also a variety of free classes, workouts and events on offer, including sunrise yoga, supper clubs, fat-burning boot camps and smoothie-making masterclasses (we’re sure they’ll have kale there, otherwise bring some from your box) for all levels and abilities.

This Week’s Bounty

Standard Box
* Valour Potatoes, Perry Court
* Turnips, Perry Court
* Swede, Yorks
* Romano Peppers, Spain
* Courgettes, Spain
Sweet Potatoes, Spain
Green Kale, Yorks
Onions, Essex

Small Box
Items starred (*) above

No-Potato Substitute
Parsnips, Lincs

Fruit Supplement
Bananas, Dom Rep (standard only)
Pears, Kent (standard only)
Blood Orange, Spain (small only)

 

How Swedes Eat Swede

We hope that last week’s colourful vegetables added a splash of colour to brighten the lingering grey winter days. This week’s box contents is subject to availability due to the weather.

We haven’t written much about the humble swede, so here’s a fun fact about this root: did you know that swede originated as a cross between the cabbage and the turnip? It’s often used a flavour enhancer so not surprisingly it is a component in the making of Branston pickle!

It’s also known as yellow turnip, Swedish turnip and Russian turnip and, in America, rutabaga. In Scotland, where it is known as neeps, swede is the traditional accompaniment to haggis on Burns night (only two weeks late, dear acquaintance).

If you are really lazy to peel them (and it is not always easy) then just wrap them in foil and steam-roast until cooked, then peel under running water. Or roast (peeled) in olive oil, salt and lemon then finish off with grated parmesan.

Do have a read of Nigel Slater’s eulogy to the swede and cooking ideas (such as quote: “Mashed swede is only worth eating when half a packet of butter is suspended in it.”) – it is well worth it.

Warm up with a spiced swede soup wonderfully flavoured with cardamon and nutmeg, or add to any stew or casserole. Or take it from the Swedes and eat your swede as part of a root mash “rotmos”, which pairs well with ham and mustard, or fried salty pork and sausage.

If you’re missing Christmas then try a traditional Finnish Christmas swede casserole “lanttulaatikko” (our feature photo for the week). You may want to top the casserole with breadcrumbs and dotted butter instead of mixing these in. You could skip the sugar as swede on its own is quite sweet, but some recipes call for Finnish syrup, which has a molasses taste, much like brown sugar. Finns even use rutabaga in most dishes that call for any root vegetable!

Try a swede chutney along with an apple from the box. Or try it pickled – toss julienned swede in a tablespoon or two of salt, leave for 20 minutes. Drain off water, and rinse thoroughly.  Taste a piece, and if still too salty, leave to soak in cold water for 10 mins.  When happy that the swede is not too salty, drain, and pour over some clear vinegar and caster sugar, and toss.

Or go sweet with a swede nutmeg cake with brown butter frosting and salted hazelnut (substitute with cinnamon if you don’t like nutmeg, or go half-half).

For the rest of the vegetables in this week’s box, try searching on our webpage for past blogs!

This Week’s Bounty

Standard Box
* Arran Potatoes, Lancs
* Carrots, Lincs
* Onions, Norfolk
* Beetroot, Lincs
* Jan King Cabbage, Kent
White Mushrooms, Suffolk
Sprouts, Lincs
Swede, Lincs
Small Box
Items starred (*) above

No-Potato Substitute
Jerusalem Artichokes, Lincs

Fruit Supplement
Braeburn Apples, Kent (standard only)
Mandarins, Spain

 

Rooting for Roots

Rainbow carrots, parsnips, celeriac and swede…it’s certainly looking like a (dare-we-say-it) winter root vegetable week. Very thankful for the red kuri squash which tells us that we are still in autumn albeit with some very relentless rain. Great for the organic green waste compost to mature over winter in preparation for next year’s growing season though.

Winter plus roots means it’s time to get the oven going if you haven’t already.  If ever in doubt with root vegetables simply roast them as it really sweetens and intensifies the flavours.

Peel or scrape the skins off if you like – lots of flavours and nutrients there though even if a little uncouth. Then cut into cubes or batons (especially good cut for carrots and parsnips, don’t worry if they are somewhat irregular as the skinny bits will caramelise sweetly whilst the fatter bits will soften to a melt-in-your-mouth texture). Here are a few options to add after tossing in some oil (add some crushed garlic if you like) before roasting at 200 to 220 deg C until golden brown and tender:

  • Top with some thyme and sea salt
  • Drizzle with maple syrup or honey
  • Toss with a little mustard, and finish with a drizzle of honey
  • Spice with coriander, cumin and turmeric

Perfect with a roast but also pairs well with pan-fried or grilled fish. If you have leftovers (or if you fancy soup instead) fry some chopped onions with olive oil and/or butter, add some stock and milk/cream if you like, bring to boil and then blend to soup when the vegetables are soft. You could even roast some onions with the roots to save yourself some extra work! Or for some variation for the week you could roast with thyme and then fry some spices with the onions for a soup with the leftovers.

An alternative would be to boil one or more of the roots (you could also add some apples if you’ve still got some left) until tender, drain and then purée with butter and milk/cream (double cream if going for richness). The various options suggested above also works for purée.

If you’ve gotten this far, try asking your French friend how they like parsnips (they don’t really eat them over there, preferring turnips instead… hmm, pourquoi you ask?!?), apparently native to Britain. And try asking an American friend what “rooting” means to them, and now try asking the same of your Aussie friend…

This Week’s Bounty

Standard Box
* Washed Bakers, Lincs
* Rainbow Carrots, Lancs
* Leek, Kent
* Swiss Chard, Perry Court
* Swede, Kent
Parsnip, Kent
Celeriac, Kent
Red Kuri Squash, Perry Court
Small Box
Items starred (*) above

No-Potato Substitute
Golden Beetroot, Lancs

Fruit Supplement
Mandarins, Spain (standard box only)
Plums, Spain