[Reposted from October 2006, for the Diet Edition Recipe Carnival, and because I am going to make a big potful of this tomorrow.]
In February 2003, Canadian Living Magazine published a story about chef Earl Johnson's way-better-than-your-average-cafeteria-food at Gordon Bell High School in Winnipeg. They followed up that October (after many requests) with some of his recipes. We've been making his Potage Paysanne ever since, on cold days and when we can manage to get turnip (we use rutabaga), parsnips, leeks and parsley all in our fridge at the same time. (Sometimes we leave one or the other of those things out.) [Update: when I made this batch, we had a couple of cooked sausages in the fridge, so I sliced those into the soup instead of starting with bacon. It's a very forgiving recipe. Sorry about that if you're looking for a diet recipe, but you know what, you could also leave the bacon and sausage out entirely and just make it a vegetable soup.]
Now Mama Squirrel must be unflinchingly honest: she hates rutabaga. Rutabaga crumble, rutabaga casserole, rutabaga disguised with apples and spices--it's still rutabaga. Rutabaga raw and sliced is tolerable; and Earl's soup makes it taste...well, about as good as you're going to get a rutabaga to taste. We figured if Earl could convince the teenagers in Winnipeg to eat this, it must have something going for it.And it gives us one way to eat our ruby-red rutabagas with a smile.
(I'm not posting the recipe, in case you wondered or missed the link; Canadian Living did it nicer than I can, here.)