Spigarello (or other greens) and Rutabaga Soup with Pesto

This recipe came to us from CSA member Christina Stork who said:

"For soup freaks like me, each pot is an opportunity, whether it be centered around a seasonal ingredient, the need (excuse?) to give an item in my pantry or freezer a little bit of love, making room in the produce drawer for this week’s box, or making sure nothing in the fridge goes to waste. If potatoes and chard are solid bases for soup, why not rutabaga and spigarello? It’s easy and flexible, so hard to go wrong here." Any hearty green can substitute for spigarello too!


Olive oil or ghee
1 medium onion (yellow or white), or leeks (white and light green parts) if you have ‘em (one fat or two med), roughly chopped
1 green garlic or 1–2 cloves cured garlic, finely chopped
1 hefty rutabaga or 2 smalls, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 pound potatoes, roughly chopped
Spigarello - the whole bunch, ends trimmed and roughly chopped, or other hearty green (kale, collards, chard, broccoli rabe)
4–6 cups stock
2–4 tablespoons pesto
Salt, pepper, and acid to taste
Crunchy toppings (optional but recommended): croutons, parmesan crisp, crispy green garlic ends (see below for instructions), toasted slivered almonds, and/or pine nuts


  1. In a heavy-bottomed soup pot on medium-high, heat your oil/ghee until shimmering, reduce heat to medium and add onion/leeks. Sauté until softened (8 mins-is), then add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 
  2. Add rutabaga and potatoes and a two-fingered pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. 
  3. Stir in spigarello and, once wilted, the stock (you want the liquid to cover the solids, so if you need to add more stock and water, go ahead) with another pinch of salt. 
  4. Raise heat to medium high and bring to low boil, then reduce heat, stir, and simmer partially covered for about 20 minutes or until rutabaga and potatoes are soft. 
  5. Remove from heat and puree using an immersion blender (if using a regular blender, wait until it cools a bit, then puree in batches).
  6. Stir in the pesto, starting with two tablespoons and going from there, depending on how vibrant/salty your pesto is, in order to enhance the flavor of the vegetables, rather than overpower. 
  7. Taste. What does it need? A few pinches of salt? Some grinds of fresh black pepper? A hit of acid, like sherry vinegar or lemon juice? 
  8. Serve, with or without crunchy toppings.

Ideas for toppings if you’re able: croutons, parmesan crisp, crispy green garlic ends (finely slice the green ends of green garlic and sauté with a pinch of salt in half a cup of olive oil. Make this with all of your green garlic ends, it will be your new fave condiment. You could also mix those finely chopped ends into softened butter for a compound butter for making garlic bread to go alongside, hello! Or garlic bread croutons, if you’re feeling wild), a dusting of lemon zest and fresh grated parmesan with some toasted slivered almonds or pine nuts.