Saturday, November 2, 2013

Celery Root and Apple Soup



Happy November!

Now that it's November, it's officially socially acceptable to start planning a Thanksgiving menu and taste-testing holiday recipes, right? My goal is to create a whole bunch of Thanksgiving-friendly recipes this month, mostly side dishes or appetizers, because that's where you can get really creative! And I'm sure my heart will desire loads of holiday baked goods, so don't be surprised if pumpkin pops up again (and again, and again).

Here's one soup that would make a fantastic start to your Thanksgiving meal: Celery Root and Apple Soup. If you've never worked with celery root (aka celeriac), it can be a little intimidating. But once you get past the knotty-looking exterior, it's just like working with a peeled potato. To peel the celery root I used a peeler near the top, where the skin is a little smoother, and a paring knife near the bottom, where things get messy. Celery root has a fresh celery and fennel flavor with the texture of a turnip/potato/root vegetable, making it great for pureed soups or adding to mashed potatoes for a different take. You can also eat it raw--in class the other day we made a salad with julienned celery root and apples; that's where the flavor inspiration came from with this soup!
celeriac

Celery Root and Apple Soup

(Not sure why this picture looks so blurry--click on it for a clearer view!)
Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 fist-sized celery root bulbs, peeled and diced
  • 3 medium apples, peeled and diced (I used Macintosh)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock or broth
  • about 1 cup milk (dairy or nondairy)
  • salt, pepper, and ground nutmeg to taste
  • chopped apples, walnuts, sage, and black pepper for garnishing
Directions:
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onion in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, until translucent.
  2. Add the celery root, apples, and ginger; saute 5 more minutes.
  3. Add the sage and stock or broth, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.
  4. Once at a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the celery root and apples are tender.
  5. Puree the soup in a blender, then stir as much or as little milk as you'd like. Keep in mind that the soup will thicken as it cools, so if you're planning on serving it the next day, wait and stir in the milk as you reheat it.


I seem to do this thing where I post a recipe and then spontaneously talk about running afterwards, so I may as well keep up with that format now...

In this week's running news...I ran the Marine Corps Marathon last Sunday! I use the word "ran" very lightly here, because I walked a good 1/3 of the race, but I finished nonetheless. 

 I won't go through the race mile by mile, because after mile 10 it would be a lot of "do I really have __ many miles left?!!) and after mile 20 it would be a lot of "@#$% my legs WON'T move," so I'll spare you the grueling details and focus on the exciting stuff. Like these parachuting Marines at the starting area! All those little tiny dots are parachuters, and they all pulled out huge American flags before they landed--so incredible!

Me at mile 20! I caught a second wind between miles 16 and 20, so I was looking great right here. Then it went downhill (NOT literally) from there.


And Finally, the finish! I don't know who had the idea of sneaking in an uphill finish, but it was not fun. After getting my bling and downing several cups of free watermelon, I was smiling again.


Thanks mom and dad for cheering me on! I loved seeing you and this awesome sign so many times, I don't think I could have done it otherwise!


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