Fall for Soup

October 26, 2009

Beautiful Fall Soup

Beautiful Fall Soup

This week you should head out the door into the chill and rain to buy a head of celeriac, or celery root. Celeriac is a homely, grubby, low-starch root vegetable. It is not actually the root of celery, as you might imagine, though it is from the same family. Don’t be put off by its unattractiveness. I’m confident that you will fall for celeriac, and find that it has a beautiful, nutty-creamy flavour – it’s what’s inside that counts. And speaking of nutty flavour, this recipe also has brussels sprouts in it. You don’t like brussels sprouts? Well, fine. It might be hard for us to be friends now that I know this, but I would like to try to convince you that they are delicious. I hazard a guess that you may not have tasted a perfectly cooked brussels sprout. They are easily overcooked, and some sort of chemical blah-lah-lah happens when they’re overcooked, causing them to actually emit sulphur. Buy small, sweet brussels sprouts for this recipe. And then we’ll see about mending this disagreement that has sprouted between us.

Makes about 8 cups/2 litres

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 carrots, sliced into coins, or diced… I felt like coins for this soup…

2 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

1 not-too-big celeriac, trimmed, peeled and diced

1 teaspoon sea salt

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 head of kale, stemmed and torn

4 cups water or chicken stock

1 – 14 oz tin cannelini beans, drained*

1/2 bunch of flat leaf parsley, leaves pulled from stems

Pour a stream of olive oil into a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add carrots, brussels sprout halves and celeriac. Increase heat a titch, sprinkle the sea salt over and cover with a lid. This will help speed the cooking of the vegetables. Now, of course, you’re going to take care not to overcook the vegetables, for the sake of our friendship. Lift the lid after a few minutes, stir, and taste-test a brussels sprout – it should be underdone, more crisp than tender. Stir in the minced garlic and kale leaves. Cook for two minutes and then cover with water or stock. Bring to a simmer, lower heat and add beans and flat-leaf parsley. Simmer for another few minutes. Taste for seasoning, you might need to add another pinch of sea salt. The vegetables should all stay a wee bit crisp, that’s how I like it. Isn’t the celeriac gorgeous and earthy and creamy? How are the brussels sprouts? Friends?

So Not Pretty!

So Not Pretty!

* Oh, I know, I should really be using dried beans, the texture is so much better. But it is so quick and easy to use canned.

PS – Woo hoo – Katie found black garlic at South China Seas on Granville Island yesterday afternoon!


4 Responses to “Fall for Soup”

  1. court e nay said

    i love the rain!!!!! It makes me crave soup this looks great

  2. Julie said

    This soup looks amazing, Dawne! I was eyeing some celeriac at the final *tear* market on Saturday but I was intimidated by the rootiness of it. I will definitely grab it next time round. Thanks Dawne. Another great suggestion!

  3. june said

    This does look yummy! And I agree that it is the season for soup! I’ll even trust you on the brussel sprouts…I can’t say that I’ve ever had one that was perfectly cooked – just my mom’s sadly over cooked, greyish looking mounds of yuckiness!

    • dawnegourley said

      June – I’m pleased you’re willing to try the brussels sprouts! My mom sometimes fries up chopped bacon with brussels sprout halves and soy sauce… not clean-eating but a superb reintroduction to brussels sprouts.

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