December 8, 2013

Gingery Coconut Stew With Brussels & Rutabaga

by IsaChandra

Serves 6 to 8

Coconut Ginger Stew

When the weather forecast starts mocking you with single digits, this stew hits all the right notes. Three degrees is simply not enough degrees! Brrrr.

Somehow there was not a single rutabaga recipe on the site! I don’t know how that happened because rutabaga is basically my spirit vegetable. With all it’s purpleness and earthiness and intensity. It’s like a wizened turnip. But if you can’t find any, turnips or parsnips would be great here, too.

Although you typically find rutabaga in European cooking, I love the combination of rooty veggies and Asian flavors. Here the rutabaga gives a great balance to the stew; naturally sweet from the coconut and the carrot, with contrasting lime notes and laced through and through with ginger. The seared Brussel sprouts add extra wintery goodness as well as a fun texture. Chickpeas round the whole thing out (no pun intended) (because chickpeas are round.)

So when life gives you three degrees, make this stew! Serve with some jasmine rice and warm up your life.

Recipe Notes

~I like coconut oil in here for obvious reasons, but any neutral flavored oil will do!

~I’ve been really digging those little 5.5 oz cans of coconut milk. It’s so efficient and there is zero waste. If you can’t find them, then just measure out 2/3 a cup of coconut milk and you’re good to go.

~My brussel sprouts were little so I just halved them. If yours are on the bigger side, quarter them instead.

~The easiest way I’ve found to peel a rutabaga is with your chef’s knife. Place the rutabaga on your cutting board and gently slice away the waxy skin starting from top to bottom.

1 tablespoon coconut oil (refined or virgin)
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 lb Brussel sprouts, quartered [see note above]
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 heaping tablespoon fresh minced ginger
3/4 lb rutabaga, peeled and diced (1/2 inch)
1 cup sliced carrots
4 cups vegetable broth
1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (1 1/2 cups)
1 5.5 ounce can coconut milk (about 1/2 a cup)
Juice of one lime
Zest of 1/2 lime
Salt to taste

Fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
Jasmine rice for serving

Preheat a 4 quart pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion in the oil with a big pinch of salt, until onions are lightly browned. Now add the brussels and try to get them lightly seared by making sure that they hit the surface of the pot. So just push the onions to the sides and let the brussels cook, giving them a stir every now and again. It doesn’t have to be perfect and not every single one needs to sear, just do your best!

Add ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes and mix in. Cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add the rutabaga, carrots and vegetable broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to simmer, and add the chickpeas and lime zest. Cook with the lid ajar (to let steam escape) until the rutabaga is tender (5 more minutes or so.)

Add coconut milk and lime juice, and taste for salt. Heat through, and serve with cilantro and extra red pepper flakes or Sriracha if you like.



  • December 8, 2013 at 10:17 pm: Mikaela Larsen

    YUM !!! :D

  • December 8, 2013 at 10:23 pm: Debbie Walsh

    This looks so good – making tomorrow I love swede! (Sorry, rutabaga)

  • December 8, 2013 at 10:29 pm: Melanie Parker

    I heart rutabagas!!

  • December 8, 2013 at 10:41 pm: Julie

    This was perfect after a 17 mile run at -20F. Thank you!! I’ve never put chickpeas in soup. Why???

  • December 8, 2013 at 10:52 pm: Geralyn

    I am making this as soon as possible!

  • December 8, 2013 at 11:38 pm: Kate

    So, rutabaga = swede turnips? Thanks Debbie!

  • December 9, 2013 at 12:33 am: Krista

    I want to make this right now! I’ve been meaning to try a rutabaga recipe.

  • December 9, 2013 at 4:15 am: Pam Kohll

    making it right now. so far it tastes awesome although I didnt cut the rutabagas small enough so it is taking a iitle longer
    Im from omaha but have been living in Boulder for the past 6 years, Glad to support a fellow homey.

  • December 9, 2013 at 5:15 am: Mae

    Isa, all of your recipes look and sound amazing. My stomach literally just growled while I was reading this recipe. Sadly, all I have to eat is one slice of Tofurky pizza :( Gotta go grocery shopping and make this soup!!!

  • December 9, 2013 at 1:35 pm: Liz

    Isa Does It rutabaga style! Thank you!

  • December 9, 2013 at 2:51 pm: Sarah

    This sounds great, looks delish and I can’t wait to try it. Is it 1/2 cup coconut milk or 2/3’s of a cup? (I’ve never seen the small 5.5 oz cans here in the Boston area.)

  • December 9, 2013 at 8:23 pm: Katie @ Produce on Parade

    Oh my goodness, I wish I had some of this soup right now! I love rutabaga and brussel sprouts..and coconut milk…yum! Perfect!

  • December 9, 2013 at 9:36 pm: birdsnarl

    Look at this fucking coconut milk root vegetable love connection! http://instagram.com/p/hpsZ9Xx3MW/

  • December 9, 2013 at 9:37 pm: birdsnarl

    This is so next on my list.

  • December 10, 2013 at 5:30 am: Grace

    I made this tonight following the recipe exactly. It was AH-mazing. Thank you!

  • December 10, 2013 at 5:41 am: Miss Lynx

    I’ve never had rutabaga to the best of my knowledge, but, well… If I hate parsnips and turnips, is there any chance I’m going to like rutabaga?

    • December 10, 2013 at 5:44 am: IsaChandra

      Haha, I doubt it!

  • December 10, 2013 at 4:34 pm: Kat

    Every ingredient present in the fridge and pantry. Rutabaga are small but we are very proud to say they grew in our own (now frozen) garden. Here we go ! Thanks, Isa.

  • December 10, 2013 at 7:09 pm: Elyse @myveganp

    Mmmm…Sriacha! Good on top of anything! What a beautiful and hearty meal this is!

  • December 10, 2013 at 10:12 pm: Elizabeth

    I don’t have rutabaga or brussel sprouts. What can I use instead? I have cauliflower, spinach, potato…will that be ok?

    • December 10, 2013 at 10:57 pm: IsaChandra

      Cauliflower and potato sound good! But cauli is much more fragile than brussels, so skip the searing step, I’d say.

  • December 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm: jade T

    @misslynx…try it! Here in England they are swedes…we eat them often mashed with carrots…I don’t like turnips but love swede…They aren’t as sweet as parsnips…but if you like carrots you may like? Even if I don’t like an ingredient then with Isa’s recipes I do! It’s only since getting all of Isa’s cookbooks that I could even entertain tofu. (

  • December 12, 2013 at 3:11 am: Michelle

    Terrific! My skeptical husband loved it. We two oinkers were able to finish the entire soup in one meal. He should have known – one can always trust an Isa recipe.

  • December 13, 2013 at 12:43 pm: Barbara

    I made this last night without the rutabaga and it was awesome! The broth was incredible.

  • December 16, 2013 at 4:14 pm: Geralyn

    I don’t have the words to express how good this is! The unusual combination of ingredients blends into a powerhouse of flavor. It’s delicate, yet hearty. This is definitely a recipe that I will be making again and again. Thank you!

  • December 17, 2013 at 10:36 am: Cornelie

    This is my new favorite wintery recipe! I am all over the root veggies and cabbages this season, so a creative recipe like this is right up my alley (second favorite is the root veggie dal in AFR). Please invent more of these :-)

  • December 17, 2013 at 3:28 pm: Ellie

    Loved this! Not sure if I’ve ever had a rutabaga before, but it was awesome and now I want more! I did dump a whole can of light oconut milk in here because I didn’t want to waste it (couldn’t find those little cans you mentioned–I’m jealous, they sound perfect!). Turned out great. Perfect for a snowy evening after an extra long commute home!

  • December 18, 2013 at 2:27 pm: Ann

    Thanks again for a delicious meal. I loved all the different flavours. Such a great taste-experience. Spendid!

  • December 19, 2013 at 1:46 am: yobicklets

    Please, sir, I want some more!
    Holy guacamole this recipe is delicious. I made it last Saturday and I am still eating it (and it is still as delicious as it was Saturday). Keep on giving love to those Brussels Sprouts!

  • December 20, 2013 at 12:36 am: StarryEyed

    We made this soup tonight and it was delicious!!

  • December 25, 2013 at 2:04 am: Diane

    Mmm, looks so good!

    One question: is it 2/3 of a cup of coconut milk or 1/2? The recipe notes say 2/3 but the ingredients list 1/2.

  • December 28, 2013 at 6:37 pm: Sabine

    I just made this, it tasted great! I don’t like some of the ingredients, but together it was very nice :)

  • December 31, 2013 at 9:02 am: Tiana Gustafson

    Thank you so much for this amazing looking recipe! I love healthy recipes and I will look forward to trying it out and sharing it with my followers at TianaGustafson.com. As Arnold says “I’ll be back” :) Thanks again!

  • January 2, 2014 at 3:24 am: Anna

    Made this recipe for dinner tonight. It was delicious! I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out very well. Thanks for sharing!

  • January 4, 2014 at 1:20 am: Jeff Neuner

    Made this last Sunday and it was incredible! Thanks Isa.

  • January 5, 2014 at 1:33 am: Lee

    When my husband asked me what I was making for lunch today, he instantly frowned. He HATES ginger, rutabaga and isn’t very find of Brussels sprouts either. All things I personally love. As he was hesitating to bring his spoon to his mouth he said, “is this a Isa recipe?” I said, “yes..” He took a spoonful and low and behold he loved it. He ate two bowls, I ate two bowls, my mother who is the pickiest person in the world ate a full bowl. The moral of the story… Try things even if you don’t like them, if Isa created the recipe, it doesn’t matter what’s in there… it’s damn good. Thank you!!!

  • January 7, 2014 at 9:01 pm: Leigh

    Made this the other day and it’s delicious. However, it is a lot for me alone! Do you think it would freeze well? Thanks!

  • January 8, 2014 at 9:05 pm: Nico

    Thanks for this amazing recipe, Isa!! Except for the use of olive oil, I’ve followed your instructions strictly and the result has been delicious. So you’ve won a new fan in Spain

  • January 9, 2014 at 12:57 pm: Ann

    Hah, haven’t been back to check the PKK site for a while – great to see that things are cooking! Can’t wait to get the new cookbook :)
    I made something remarkably similar using the beloved kålrot (cabbage root = rutabaga) a couple of weeks ago, as a sauce served over stirfried noodles (linguini) (it was what I had in the cupboard). I also used lemon as that was what I had.
    It looks even better as a soup, nom-nom!

    As a sidenote we actually boil kålrot, carrot and potatoes and make a tradtional mash – rotmos (mashed roots) unvegans add milk and butter, I used olive oil and a heaped spoon of soy flour. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with christmas lentil burgers or broiled tempeh, cranberry jam and brussel sprouts :)

  • January 13, 2014 at 3:12 am: Sherry

    This was absolutely delicious and perfect for a cold night! Thank you for such a creative recipe—mmm, rutabagas and Brussels.

  • January 14, 2014 at 7:43 am: Shruti

    Can’t wait to make it tonight!

  • January 18, 2014 at 3:32 pm: Ryan

    Hi,
    Can I just tell you that I made this and it was “delicious” seriously! My husband has gone vegan in an effort to suppress his RA. I struggled with finding suitable dishes until I found your site. Thank God for you. This is wonderful!! Was easy and is fabulous.
    Thanks so much for sharing your gifts with us.

  • January 20, 2014 at 12:17 am: Jaime

    This, along with every recipe I have ever made of yours, was fabulous! I just wish you posted nutritional info for us weight watchers :)

  • January 22, 2014 at 12:53 am: Kimberly

    Blizzad blowing, 14 degrees, and this was just perfect for tonight in southeastern Massachusetts. You put the lime in the coconut, you drink ‘em both together, Put the lime in the coconut, then you feel better… Thanks, Isa! I do feel better.

  • January 23, 2014 at 3:44 am: Millie

    This looks delicious!
    Thanks, Isa!
    What should I pair this with if I want to make an appetizer or side of sorts?

  • January 23, 2014 at 3:46 am: Millie

    This looks delicious!
    Thanks, Isa!
    What should I pair this with if I want to make an appetizer or side of sorts?
    (I own all of your cook books, so I’m sure there are plenty of recipes I could use with this one.. I am just always scared I won’t pair recipes well.)

    • January 23, 2014 at 7:41 am: IsaChandra

      What about the red curry spring rolls (on the blog.) Or even the zucchini noodle salad with peanut sauce!

  • January 25, 2014 at 10:28 pm: sara

    I really wanted to make this with rutabaga because I’ve never cooked with it..but alas I found some cubed butternut squash on sale begging me to buy it, so I subbed that. Also added half a block of tempeh crumbled up- so delicious to get me through this awful polar vortex!!

  • January 26, 2014 at 5:08 pm: Lori

    Delicious! Would be the perfect meal to change minds about Brussels sprouts.

  • January 27, 2014 at 4:21 pm: Miriam Wilson

    I have made this recipe three or four times now. It’s the perfect winter staple meal – delicious, cheap, easy and quick to make, and all the ingredients are easy to get. I’ve never been a huge fan of brussel sprouts but this recipe has changed my mind :)

  • January 28, 2014 at 12:31 pm: Jean

    I roasted the brussel sprouts in the oven, on a pan with olive oil and added them at the end. Super yummy.

  • January 29, 2014 at 7:52 pm: Patricia Sjöberg

    I look forward to trying this. The only time I ever ate rutabagas was as a child – my grandmother boiled them and I hated them. I hope I like them in this setting!

  • January 29, 2014 at 7:56 pm: Molly

    This is another one of those more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts recipes. Trust Isa to take stodgy sprouts and swedes and make them glamorous. This dish provides a good reason for cold weather.

    By the way, am I the only one to have thought of freezing leftover coconut milk by the tablespoon portion in ice cube trays?

  • January 30, 2014 at 6:20 pm: Janet

    a really great idea! was cooking for an army so made it with cabbage in stead of brussels, plus parsnips, and it was great! and threw some arrowroot in, to thicken the sauce. yum!

  • February 2, 2014 at 1:15 am: Kim Diamond

    Made this for dinner last night and it was soooo delicious!!! I’ll be making it again for sure. Thanks!

  • February 4, 2014 at 5:40 pm: Gaby

    This soup is DELICIOUS. Even the cooking process is such a joy!!! oh the smells of the ginger and lime zest !!! :) I had never tried rutabagas and I love them now!

  • February 4, 2014 at 9:03 pm: NOELIA CARRILLO DONATE

    Hi Isa,
    I am a spanish fun. I love your book “Isa does it”. I can´t stop cooking your recipes! I’m updating some of the recipes for my spanish friends (and myself) on my cooking blog… http://www.adaptacionesculinarias.com.
    This recipe is just fantastic! Just made it a few days ago, changed the rutabaga for potatos…
    Thank you!

  • February 7, 2014 at 12:47 am: Hannah

    This brings so much warmth and love into my gluten-free vegan heart. I recently discovered my love of rutabaga; chickpeas are my favorite legume; coconut anything makes me happy; and BRUSSELL SPROUTS. You are my culinary hero. <3

    • February 7, 2014 at 8:23 pm: IsaChandra

      Thanks :)

  • February 11, 2014 at 4:49 pm: Jessica G.

    I want to thank you for this recipe. I first made it about a month ago, gobbled it up alone in three days, and just finished my second go-round. This last time, fyi, I omitted the chick-peas (canned ones weren’t so great–no time to do from scratch) but pan fried some tofu in the same seasonings that go in the stew. Poured it over brown rice, tofu, cilantro, and sriracha sauce on top and bam! a new favorite is born. I never, ever, would have thought to do anything like this with Brussels sprouts before this recipe.

  • February 16, 2014 at 2:19 am: Hannah

    I am trying this tonight with butternut squash instead of swede. And I have some chickpeas I cooked from the dry variety. It’ll be my late breakfast. I can already smell good things from the slow cooker…

  • February 19, 2014 at 3:20 am: Debi

    Really tasty and reasonably quick to make. I used about 1 cup of coconut milk because I had a frozen baggie full. Will definitely make again.

  • February 19, 2014 at 7:04 pm: Victoria

    After adding the ginger, garlic & pepper flakes I removed the Brussels sprouts and threw everything else (except the coconut milk and lime juice) into a crockpot. I let it cook on high for five hours. About 20 minutes before supper I added the Brussels, coconut milk & lime until it was heated through. It was fantastic! 3 out of 4 of us loved it.
    …and that’s a win for sure!

    I’m curious as to why in your recipe you said to let the steam escape. I could not/ did not do that. What does the steam do?

  • March 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm: Corinne

    This was an absolutely delicious recipe! I’m sure I’ll make it again!

  • March 6, 2014 at 2:47 pm: culinary schools in

    That is a great tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.
    Brief but very precise info… Thanks for sharing this one.
    A must read article!

  • March 26, 2014 at 12:56 pm: Chrissy

    Made this last night. It was sloppily good. I used parsnips instead of rutabagas and browned the brussel sorouts in a tiny bit margarine amd threw it in at the end & topped each bowl with fresh chopped cilantro & served with corn on the cob.
    Will def keep this recipe and make it again.

  • April 15, 2014 at 12:12 am: Rachael

    Well I made this today, with black beans instead of chickpeas. I found the lime too overpowering. I would recommend just half a lime’s juice. I also put in just under 2 T ginger and it was too much as well, even though I 1.5x the soup and vegetables. Other than that it is delicious. A warning: cut your rutabaga small if short on time!

  • May 15, 2014 at 8:52 pm: Chris

    Hey, someone made this for me (though, I cooked the rice), and it was freaking good. 8.5/10; would definitely recommend. I’ve never had Rutabaga before and was much better than expected. I am looking forward to more vegan recipes from this website. -Chris

  • May 20, 2014 at 1:24 pm: Nancy

    Hi Isa,
    I want to thank you for your great recepies, today I tried the gingery
    Curry with chickpeas and rutabaga, ammmmazing!
    Not to forget your Mac and cheese … Thanks again for making it possible
    To eat healthy and yummy:)
    Nancy

  • July 14, 2014 at 10:04 pm: Esther J

    Yum! This was so good! (and yes, I did just make this on a hotter than July, hot July day.) You had me, a native Southerner (USA), with just the mention of the word rutabaga (I’m sure you know they are a very common side in Southern cuisine. I was born and raised on a rutabaga. You can find them easily at all grocery stores any time of the year).

    And the Thai-inspired flavors of the coconut milk, lime, ginger (!) were perfect for the already perfect rutabaga.

    Thanks, girl!

  • September 28, 2014 at 12:19 am: Michelle

    I made this the other night, but modified a bit. I didn’t think the little ones could deal with the red pepper. My husband is Jamaican, and since there was already ginger, coconut milk, and lime, instead of red pepper I threw in a couple of TBSPs of Jamaican curry powder, and more like 3/4 cup coconut milk. And lots of fresh thyme. My only negative thing was a slight bitterness from the Brussels sprouts. Any suggestions on countering that?

  • September 29, 2014 at 2:29 pm: Alicia Hurst

    I read through the comments before making this, so I figured I’d report back as well! I made this last night, but didn’t have half of the ingredients and winged some major substitutions, and it still turned out great.

    Subbed — large yellow onion, fresh minced ginger, rutabaga, carrots, chickpeas, coconut milk, juice and zest of a lime
    For — small yellow onion, 1t ground ginger, cup of frozen corn, container of cut white mushrooms, can of pinto beans (not half bad!), 15oz can of light coconut milk, and 1T lemon juice from a bottle, no zest

    I also added 2T corn starch to thicken the broth. All other directions and ingredients were followed as written.

    The concept of the recipe was so great, I’m going to do this coconut stew method with whatever I have around way more often! It’s so easy to pull together and is so delicious, hearty, and healthful!

  • October 24, 2014 at 5:40 pm: Anne

    Delicious. I taste the broth while cooking and found it meh, then added the coconut milk and it was amaaaaazzinggggg. Completely tied everything together! I also am enamored with the new mini coconut milk can, so handy.

    I highly recommend sweet potato too, it’s amazing in this. I was carrying groceries and the rutabaga was just too big for I opted for a celery root instead. Also super tasty.

    SO DELICIOUS. Love your website Isa. I’m not a vegan, or even a strict vegetarian, but it’s accessible and delicious recipes like this that help me eat vegan much more often!

  • October 25, 2014 at 12:31 pm: Katie

    I thought this might be too weird, but I trust your recipes, and it turned out to be delicious! I made a double batch as dinner for 8 (omnivores), and it was a big hit. My man wouldn’t try it because of the brussels sprouts – his loss. I was out of carrots, so I just added more rutabaga, and that worked fine. Thanks for such reliable recipes, Isa. I made your pumpkin pie brownies for dessert!

  • November 13, 2014 at 9:05 pm: chelsea

    This was SO good. Rutabaga was the one vegetable that I thought I didn’t like and it always made me very sad. I thought, if anyone can make me like rutabaga it’s Isa. I’m now a proud convert and love every vegetable I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.

  • November 17, 2014 at 5:04 pm: Sonia

    Out of this world, crazy, good!! :-)
    Thanks Isa!!

  • November 24, 2014 at 12:00 am: Olivia

    I love your nurturing tone! I don’t particularly like cooking and was motivated when you said “just do your best!” I actually shrieked when I threw the brussell sprouts in the pan and heard a sizzle!

  • November 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm: Laura

    HOW did you know that I have rutabagas, Brussels sprouts, coconut milk, AND freshly made chickpeas in my kitchen, just waiting for a chance to hook up? Gonna try this recipe this week . . . . Thank you!

  • November 28, 2014 at 1:44 pm: Swiss Kris

    My Brussels sprouts-hating partner told me this tasted delicious – thanks for the (vegan!) brownie points!