Rutabaga and Leek Chowder with Smoked Paprika Butter

Rutabaga and Leek Chowder with Smoked Paprika Butter

Deborah Madison
Course Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Servings 3 quarts


  • 3 pounds rutabagas about 6 medium-to-large rutabagas
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons thyme dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 medium (or 2 large) leeks washed well and chopped (white and pale green parts only)
  • 1 large potato peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 10 cups chicken stock use vegetable stock or water for a vegetarian version
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika


  • Peel the rutabagas, making sure to cut off all of the thick outer skin. Quarter length-wise and slice crosswise about 3/8-inch thick.
  • In a large soup pot, melt butter with thyme and bay leaf over medium heat until just starting to brown. Add leeks, cook for 3-4 minutes, then add rutabaga slices and potato chunks.
  • Stir in about 2 teaspoons salt, partially cover pot and cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Add stock, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 20-25 minutes, until vegetables are tender but not mushy.
  • Purée soup according to desired texture (purée half the vegetables with some liquid for a chunkier finished texture, or purée the whole pot for a smooth, creamy consistency). Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
  • Stir the smoked paprika into the melted butter and top each bowl with a drizzle of the smoky butter.
  • Or top with croutons: chop day-old crusty bread into 1 cup of a bite-size chunks. Melt butter in a skillet and cook bread chunks over low heat until crisp and golden, then toss with the smoked paprika butter.


Adapted from Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen by Deborah Madison
Deborah Madison is a writer, cook and food activist with Slow Food. She is the author of the cookbook Vegetable Literacy, where this recipe is from. This originally appeared in our Winter 2010 issue.
Keyword Butter, chowder, leek, paprika, Rutabega, Smoked

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