Monday, November 29, 2010

Just Say No to Eating Animals Monday, Volume 4: Yes, Soup for You!

Today is downright balmy, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want delicious soup recipes at the ready.  It’s no different than having salt ready for your front door step in anticipation of the snow and ice to come.

This is the second appearance of my new found friend celery root.  The first thing you should know is this vegetable has an alias.  It’s also known as celeriac.  It is a root vegetable and it has a lemony/herbaceous potato taste.  The kind where folks say, “oh you know, it tastes like celery root”; except you don’t know until you’ve tried it.
It also looks like a monster.  It does not look like it belongs to the plant kingdom at all. 

If you didn’t have it in the pizzoccheri  a few weeks ago, there’s really no way around it in today’s Just Say No to Animals Monday offering.

Mais, Oui—Celery Root, Potato, & Leek Soup (Vegan, but they would never guess it)

4 T.              olive oil
2 lbs.            celery root, peeled and diced
2                  leeks, approximately ¾ lb.
2                  garlic cloves, minced
5 c.              vegetable stock (this should be light on tomato)
1 lb.             Yukon Gold potato, peeled and diced
1 c.              dry white wine (we use the non-alcoholic kind)
Truffle Oil (optional)

FOR GOODNESS SAKES CLEAN THE LEEKS!  Remove the top green portion from the leeks ( I know, this is the very part that you use for green onions and leeks look like green onions on steroids).  Next take the root off.   Then slice the remaining white portion, vertically, down the center, stopping a bit before the root area.  Have bowl of clean and cool water at the ready.  Fan leek leaves at the top.  Take the leek by the base/root and swish the top in the bowl of water.  This removes the sand/dirt trapped in the layers of the leek.

Once the leeks are cleaned, chop them and set aside.

1.                 Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat until glistening.
2.                 Add leeks and cook until the edges start to curl and turn golden (about 5 minutes).  Add garlic to the pot and stir until fragrant (about a minute), you don’t want the garlic to burn it gets bitter.  Add the non-alcoholic wine and bring to a boil.  Then add the stock and return to a boil.  Add the celery root and potato.  Decrease the heat to a sustained simmer.  Cook until the celery root and potato are tender (about 25 minutes).
3.                 Strain the vegetables and reserve the broth.  Then process the vegetables in a powerful blender (we use a Vitamix), immersion blender, or food processor with ¼ c. of the reserved broth.  You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your processing device.
4.                 Return soup to pot with any remaining broth.  Heat gently and stir to incorporate the pureed vegetables back into the broth.  This soup should look like a bowl of hot heavy whipping cream.
5.                 Ladle into soup bowls and drizzle with truffle oil.

This soup is perfect with a simple green salad and a slice of great bread.  It serves four large/entrée bowl portions.

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