This vegan cream of swede (rutabaga) soup is based on an old fashioned British recipe and produces such a surprisingly delicious flavour that is perfect for a festive or Holiday meal starter, quick lunch, light supper, or even a tasty snack.
Serve with tasty, toasty, crispy croutons, fresh parsley and an optional swirl of vegan cream. So yummy, the whole family will love this wholesome dish.
Swede’s are termed rutabaga’s in the US, and neeps in Scotland. Although here in some parts of Scotland we also call a swede a turnip! So for this recipe use either turnips, swede, rutabagas or neeps. They are all equally tasty.
Origins Of Swede And Swede Soup
The vegetable swede is also known as a rutabaga, Swedish turnip, yellow turnip, turnip and neeps. Here in Scotland a swede is commonly referred to as a turnip, tumshie, or neeps. Despite also having the smaller, creamier coloured turnips available to buy as well.
Interestingly a swede is actually a cross between a turnip and cabbage! Fascinating.
Swedes made their way over to the British Isles sometime during the late 1700’s and over to the US during the early 1800s. The first recorded swede was discovered in Sweden sometime in the 1600s.
Since then swedes have become a valuable food crop both for people and livestock, as it is hardy and can be grown throughout the winter months.
In Scotland and many other places within the UK, swedes used to be carved into Jack-o-Lanterns during Halloween instead of the now popular pumpkin.
Many countries around the world feature swede or rutabagas in soups and stews. From the Eastern European swede soups, to the traditional Irish stews, the Scottish Scotch broth soup and the Welsh cawl soup.
Cream of soups have been popular in Britain for centuries and when the swede was introduced it would have naturally been added to the cooks repertoire of creamy soups.
Vegan Old Fashioned Cream Of Swede Soup (Rutabaga)
I love this cream of swede soup for many reasons. It has a delicious thick savoury texture with a hint of sweetness. The crispy croutons bring delicious apple cider vinegar tangs mixed with the cheesiness of the nutritional yeast and the savoury herbs. The parsley brings fresh flavours. Everything just works beautifully, yet so inexpensively and simply.
Swedes are often found in the reduced price section of the supermarket and are perfect for storing in the fridge for at least a few weeks. They keep amazingly well. So this soup works out quite cheap, yet will taste better than a fresh soup from the supermarket chilled section.
To begin, the swede is peeled and diced, before being slowly cooked in vegan butter for 15-20 minutes. This method releases and develops all the sweet, yummy flavours the swede naturally possesses.
Next hot vegan stock is poured into the stewed swede, along with some soft/light brown sugar, and salt and black pepper. The swede soup is brought to a boil, and simmered for 10 minutes or until the diced swede is nice and soft.
To create the thick creaminess plant milk is whisked with the plain flour, and poured into the swede soup. The soup is blended using an immersion hand blended until smooth. Although a food processor or stand blender could be used instead. Failing that strong arms, patience and a potato masher could be employed!
Once smooth the soup is brought to a gentle simmer, and heated for a few minutes. It is important not to fast boil the soup so as to prevent the plant milk splitting. Although if this does occur it can be easily fixed by mixing well.
Lastly the swede soup is seasoned with enough salt and black pepper to bring all the flavours together.
Preparing the crispy croutons could not be simpler. These little crispy morsels can be baked while the soup cooks.
First choose two slices of a nice, thick bread. Wholemeal bread adds extra tastiness to the croutons as well as lots of wholesome nutrition.
Each slice is cut into four long strips and then each piece is diced into four croutons. However, the size and shape of the croutons is personal preference and the croutons can even just be ripped into rough, rustic shapes.
Next the croutons are tossed with the apple cider vinegar, dried herbs, and nutritional yeast flakes, before being laid out onto a baking tray.
The crispy croutons are baked for 10 minutes, flipped over, and baked for a further 3 minutes.
These croutons are just so tasty. If possible I do recommend giving them a go. Use a gluten-free bread if necessary, but if you really don’t enjoy croutons then check out the recipe notes and FAQs section for more delicious ideas.
How To Prepare Old Fashioned Cream Of Swede Soup and Crispy Croutons
Prepare Crispy Croutons:
Recipe Notes And FAQS
Leftover cream of swede soup can be stored within a covered container for up to 3 days. Or frozen for 2-3 months.
Freeze without the croutons, parsley and oat cream garnishes. These are best added freshly prepared before serving the soup.
Bring the leftover cream of swede soup to a gentle simmer in a non-stick pot, for 2 minutes or until just piping hot. Do not fast boil the soup as it contains plant milk that could split. Although even if the soup does split just mix it well, the flavour is not compromised.
However, use a gluten-free flour blend and a gluten-free vegan stock. And choose a gluten-free bread for the croutons or replace the croutons with the suggestions below.
Links to recipes containing the methods for the following:
* chickpea croutons
* toasted sunflower seeds
* toasted cashews
* crispy tofu bites
Just ensure that any ingredients used to prepare the above substitutions are gluten-free.
A few ideas:
* replace the swede with turnips
* use a homemade plant milk instead of a shop-bought plant milk
* instead of a shop-bought vegan pouring cream replace with a homemade cashew cream
* instead of sautéing with vegan butter use 3/4 of a cup of vegetable stock
* add extra flavours such as grated nutmeg, a few cloves, fresh herbs such as sage, rosemary and thyme, your favourite dried herbs or spices such as red pepper flakes/paprika flakes
* add some nutritional yeast flakes to the soup
* see the above question for sub ideas for the croutons
* instead of nutritional yeast flakes for the croutons replace with your choice of seasonings or seasoning blend, such as garlic/onion powder, paprika, red pepper/chilli flakes, etc.
* switch out the apple cider vinegar, required for the crouton recipe, and replace with balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar or your favourite, usual vinegar
Vegan cream of swede or rutabaga soup is perfect for a special festive or Holiday meal starter so can be enjoyed alone as a second course will follow.
However if enjoying swede soup as a light lunch or dinner, here are a few serving suggestions:
* quick dinner rolls (3 ingredient no-yeast quick recipe)
* American biscuits
* corn bread
* plain scones
* wholemeal traditional Irish soda bread (no knead, no-yeast bread)
* shredded vegan cheese
* large green crispy salad: any lettuce but especially good is romaine or red gem, spinach, pea shoots, arugula/rocket, baby beetroot leaves, etc
* any raw veggies/fruit including tomatoes, pepper, carrot, cucumber, red onion, orange slices, apple cubes,
* saltine crackers
* bread sticks
* traditional Scottish oatcakes, oil-free Scottish oatcakes
* your favourite sandwiches or grilled vegan cheese toastie
* potato wedges/fries/chips: sweet potatoes or ordinary
* potato salad
* vegan coleslaw
* pickled beetroot, onion, cabbage, cucumber/gherkins
More Delicious, Wholesome Vegan Soups:
- Vegan ‘chicken’ noodle soup
- Traditional Scottish lentil soup
- Traditional Scottish Hotchpotch soup
- Irish leek and oatmeal broth
- Traditional Mulligatawny curry soup
- Roast pumpkin, sweet potato, and red pepper soup
- Mexican meatball soup
- Mexican noodle soup with black beans and corn
Old Fashioned Cream Of Swede Soup (Rutabaga) With Crispy Croutons
- Non-stick pot
- Baking tray, with parchment paper if necessary.
- Immersion stick blender/ or food processor/stand blender or strong arms and a potato masher!
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter or vegan margarine/ or replace with ¾ cup of veggie stock
- 560 grams swede or turnip/rutabaga/neeps, sliced into small dice
- 500 ml plant milk
- 500 ml vegetable stock hot, use a vegan chicken flavoured stock if available
- 2 teaspoons soft brown sugar light brown sugar/demerara, or replace with maple syrup/coconut sugar/date sugar or regular sugar
- 1 tablespoons plain flour all-purpose/gluten-free plain flour blend
Crunchy tasty croutons (optional):
- 150 grams wholemeal bread 2 thick slices of your regular preferred bread/gluten-free if required
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes or 2 tsp garlic powder and 2 tsp of onion powder/or your own preferred seasonings
- 1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs
- 8 grams fresh parsley or dill/chives/spring or green onions, chopped
- 4 tablespoons vegan cream
- Melt the vegan butter in a non-stick pot. If using veggie stock as a replacement heat the stock until simmering.
- Add the swede and cook over a low-medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Stir frequently and if necessary add a little bit more stock if too dry. Add extra stock even if using margarine if the pot becomes too dry.
Preheat the oven to 180 Fan/ 200 Celsius/ 392 Fahrenheit/ Gas 6.
- After 15 minutes pour in the hot vegan stock, soft brown sugar, and salt and pepper.
- Bring to the boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or a few minutes longer if the swede needs it to become soft.
Meanwhile prepare the crispy tasty croutons.
- Prepare a baking tray and line with parchment paper if necessary.
- Slice the bread into four pieces and then into 4 smaller cubes. Or whatever size you'd like your croutons to be.
- Add the cubed bread to a bowl. Mix through the apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast flakes, and dried mixed herbs until well combined.
- Lay out the croutons onto the baking tray and bake on the middle shelf for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, flip the croutons over, and bake for a further 3-5 minutes.
Finish the soup:
- Whisk the flour and plant milk together until combined.
- Once the swede is fork tender, pour in the milk and flour mix.
- Blend until smooth. Bring the soup to a gentle simmer (not a fast boil!). Stir and heat through for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve the soup with the crispy croutons, sprinkle of parsley and a swirl of vegan cream if liked.
- Nutritional data is provided for guidance only and is not a strict analysis as ingredients vary.
- Nutritional data does not include the optional vegan cream garnish.
- Leftover cream of swede soup can be stored within a covered container for up to 3 days.
- Or frozen for 2-3 months.
- Freeze without the crouton, parsley and oat cream garnishes. These are best added freshly prepared before serving the soup.
- To reheat bring the leftover cream of swede soup to a gentle simmer in a non-stick pot, for 2 minutes or until just piping hot. Do not fast boil the soup as it contains plant milk that could split. Although even if the soup does split just mix it well, the flavour is not compromised.
- For a gluten-free soup use a gluten-free flour blend and a gluten-free vegan stock. And choose a gluten-free bread for the croutons or replace with chickpea croutons, crispy tofu, toasted sunflower seeds or toasted cashews. See recipe notes for links to recipes where the methods are outlined.
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