Tag Archives: vegetarian

Celery Root and Apple Soup

Ahh, the celery root. You poor, misunderstood vegetable.

There is a delicious creaminess to celery root and because of it and the chill in the air, I went ahead and made a soup out of this monstrosity. I fear I am getting to be predictable with my soup making. I suppose there are worse things.

I made this soup a week ago. Then I went to Chicago for my dear friends’, Jenny and Sayan, wedding (congrats!). In lieu of a bachelorette party, Jenny wanted to go to a cooking class (I love my foodie friends!). And what else was on the menu but Apple and Celery Root Bisque with Thyme Croutons (among other delicious dishes to be discussed later). I couldn’t believe how ahead of the curve I was with my adventures the previous weekend.

There were some subtle differences – I used homemade garlic croutons instead of thyme; I made a chive oil to drizzle on top of the soup instead of just a garnish of chopped chives and mine lacked cream and maple syrup … In some ways, it was a fantastic opportunity to see how well I fare on my own compared to in the presence of a culinary instructor.

The verdict: I wasn’t too shabby, if I do say so myself. Of course that was after several glasses of wine and an evening spent with fabulous friends, so there is some chance that my self esteem was slightly higher than average.

That’s not to say that I didn’t learn anything at our cooking class, but more on that later. For now, I am going to go ahead and give you both of the soup recipes.

Celery Root and Apple Soup

from Bon Appetit

2 tablespoons butter
2 cups peeled celery root, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
2 green apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup chopped chives
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
Pinch of salt

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add celery root, apples, and onion. Cook until apples and some of celery root are translucent (do not brown), stirring often, about 15 minutes. Add 2 cups broth. Cover and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer covered until celery root and apples are soft, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to pot. Season to taste with apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper.

Puree chives, grapeseed oil, and pinch of salt in blender until smooth.

Rewarm soup over medium heat. Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle croutons over each serving. Drizzle each bowl with chive oil.

Celery Root and Apple Bisque

from The Chopping Block (Chicago)

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium-size celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tart apples, peeled and cut into large dice
1 onion, medium dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 to 6 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons chives, minced
1/2 heavy cream
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Celery salt and pepper to taste
Thyme Croutons
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups multigrain, rye, sourdough or French bread, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, rough chopped
salt and pepper to taste

For bisque:

Heat a heavy soup pot over medium heat and add the butter and olive oil.

Saute the celery root, apples and onions, stirring occasionally, until they are lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute.

Add the stock and apple cider vinegar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered until the celery root is knife tender, about 25 minutes.

Puree the soup in a blender, in batches if necessary, until smooth.

Return the soup to the pot and stir in the heavy cream and maple syrup. Season with celery salt and pepper to taste.

For thyme croutons:

Heat a saute pan over medium heat and add the butter.  Once the butter is frothy, toss in the bread cubes and cook, tossing frequently, until the bread is just starting to become golden brown.

Remove from the heat and toss in the garlic and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and allow to cool a bit before using.

Serve the soup in warmed bowls with croutons.

Potato Leek Soup

You can call me Dr. Crankypants. I woke up this morning and the temperature was 29º. As in below freezing. I know I shouldn’t complain about it, especially because it was a fantastically beautiful autumn here in Minneapolis, but I’m going to anyway. And with the upcoming time change this weekend that will make darkness fall at 5 pm (and gradually creep earlier and earlier into the day) … it’s put me in a cranky sort of mood.

A cranky sort of mood that makes me only want to make soup. I think I’ve figured out why I love making soup so much:

1) There are generally minimal (less than 10) ingredients.

2) There’s not much technique involved – throw some things in a pot, add some liquid and simmer for a while.

3) It makes a big batch so that you don’t have to cook every night, which leaves you time to come home and curl up on the couch in the fetal position in fear of the upcoming winter and 4) It freezes beautifully, so when you come home from your frequent travels to far-off corners of the country, you can have a bowl of piping hot soup in a manner of minutes.

What’s not to love? And everybody knows that love is the only antidote for crankiness…

Potato Leek Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks, chopped, white and light green parts
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, diced
4-5 yukon gold potatoes, diced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add leeks and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for another minute or two. Add carrots, potatoes and dried thyme. Add stock, reduce heat to low and simmer for ~30 minutes, or until carrots and potatoes are tender. Transfer half of the soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Stir into remaining soup. Add heavy cream and heat until warm throughout.



Apple Cranberry Cabbage Salad

I love this salad. It’s something of a cross between a waldorf salad and a slaw … but without the heavy, gloppy mayonnaise. I originally made it for our lab picnic earlier this summer (along with this Rhubarb Cobbler Cake) as I had a head of cabbage from the CSA box. And I made it again this week because I found myself with another head of cabbage and because I am love with apple season. It’s got some serious tang – the dressing has two different vinegars in it but is balanced by the sweetness of the apples, cranberries and sweet and spicy walnuts.

It feels hearty, because for some reason in my mind cabbage has much more substance than lettuce, but not heavy. A great dish for the transition into autumn. I’ve been savoring the local Ginger Gold apples and they are great in this salad because they keep well once cut (i.e. won’t turn brown). I used half a head of cabbage and it was perfect for two decently sized salads … but this is easily scaled up if feeding more than a mouth a or two.

Apple Cranberry Cabbage Salad

1/2 head of cabbage
1 apple
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup sweet and spicy walnuts, recipe below
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste

Thinly slice the cabbage. Peel, core and thinly slice the apple into large, bite-sized pieces. Throw in a bowl with the dried cranberries and sweet and spicy walnuts.

In a small jar (I think this one had red curry paste in it originally) combine the olive oil, rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar and dijon mustard. Salt and pepper to taste. Give it a good shake.

Pour dressing over salad and toss. It doesn’t get that much easier or delicious.

Sweet and Spicy Walnuts

makes ~1 1/2 cups

I love, love, love these nuts. Sometimes I used pecans instead and will throw them on salads or eat straight out of the jar.

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups walnuts
freshly ground black pepper
dash of cayenne pepper

In a small pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the sugar and walnuts, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir until the walnuts are evenly coated and the peppers are distributed. And wait. Eventually (~5 minutes) the sugar will start to melt. At that point, make sure to be constantly stirring the walnuts into the melted sugar until all of the sugar is cooked and the nuts are evenly coated, about 2-3 minutes.

Transfer to wax paper to let cool. You can store these nuts in a jar for a couple of weeks.

Roasted Beet Risotto

The weather is turning. And not for the better.

I am always surprised by the arrival of fall. I should know that it comes every year, but somehow September seems much too soon for such chilly weather. I had to shut my windows and am currently cozy-ed up on my couch under a blanket. I love autumn, but this year I feel like I am running scared from it, in a desperate hope to hide from the oncoming winter.

All I want to eat is comfort food. To help ease me into the slow descent into winter. And it starts with risotto. Rich, creamy, buttery risotto. Made magnificently red by some roasted beets. It’s a splendid combination.

And beautifully hued.

Roasted Beet Risotto

3 beets + beet greens
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup aborio rice
1/3 cup white (or rose) wine
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup shredded gruyere

Peel and chop beets into 1/2 inch pieces, reserving beet greens. Toss with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a shallow baking sheet and roast at 350º for about half an hour.

In a large, deep-dish frying pan, heat a tablespoon of butter and add the chopped onion, cooking until soft and translucent.

In a small saucepan, warm chicken stock over low heat. Add rice to onions and cook for a minute or two. Pour in the wine (all I had was a rose – but I think it goes with the theme rather well) and cook until absorbed. Slowly add in warm chicken stock, a little bit at a time, making sure not to add more liquid until the previous batch is absorbed. It should take about 25 minutes or so.

Since the bottle of wine is open…

While you are slowly adding the chicken stock, take a moment to wash, de-rib and chop the beet greens. Add them to the risotto, finish adding the chicken stock and cook until greens wilted and all of the liquid is absorbed.

Fold in the roasted beets, gruyere and butter. And watch the whole thing turn, well, beet-red.

CSA Week 9: Sweet Corn, two ways

The sweet corn has arrived. I really only like fresh corn, either on the cob or off, but please don’t make me use frozen or canned corn. Apparently it arrived last week, but I was on vacation. However, while on vacation, menu-planning for a big family dinner I came across a recipe for corn salad from Mark Bittman that got me pretty excited. Mostly because it involved avocado in addition to the sweet corn. I didn’t end up making it for our family dinner but when there was sweet corn in the CSA box this week I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.

So salad it was. And it hit the spot in the most perfect way. An amazing balance of sweet and spicy.

Again, while on vacation, I came across an intriguing recipe for sweet corn and blackberry swirl ice cream while I was perusing Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (thank you Scott for bringing me her book back from your trip to Columbus, Ohio). And then upon my return to Minneapolis, my friend Laura also brought up the idea, after reading this New York Times article.

Corn ice cream. Who knew? (Although I highly recommend it with the berry swirl – without it, it’s just too much corn flavor and the berries balance it out nicely.)

Sweet Corn Salad

from Mark Bittman

1 tablespoon oil
3 ears of sweet corn, kernels removed
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 small tomato, diced
1 small avocado, diced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
juice from 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste

Remove kernels from corn cobs (but save the cobs – you’ll need them for the ice cream!). Dice the red onion and red bell pepper. Set aside.

Heat oil in medium skillet and add corn kernels. Cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chili powder, red onion and red bell pepper. Transfer to a medium sized bowl. Let cool for a few minutes.

Dice tomato and avocado and add to bowl. Add chopped cilantro. Toss with lime juice and salt and pepper.

Call it a salad or call it a salsa. I ate it with corn chips and was extremely happy with my decision.

Sweet Corn and Blackberry Swirl Ice Cream

adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Sweet Corn Ice Cream
3 hulled corn cobs
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
Blackberry Sauce
1 cup blackberries
1/2 cup sugar

Mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch, until dissolved. Set aside. Whisk cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Set aside.

In a medium pot, combine remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup and corn cobs. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and pour through mesh sieve. Return to pot and whisk in cornstarch slurry, cooking until slightly thickened, about a minute. Remove from heat. Gradually pour the hot milk mixture into the bowl with the cream cheese, whisking constantly until smooth. Pour through mesh sieve to remove any clumps. Chill mixture thoroughly.

While the ice cream base is chilling, make the blackberry sauce. Heat blackberries and sugar in a small pot over high heat until boiling. Cook for 7-8 minutes and remove from heat. Transfer to a blender and puree. Run through mesh sieve to remove seeds. Chill thoroughly.

Freeze ice cream base in ice cream maker, about 25 minutes. Once churned, layer ice cream and blackberry sauce in alternating layers in a storage container – do not mix! End with a spoonful of sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and an airtight lid and store in freezer.

The first bite is shocking – it tastes like corn! And you think “I’m not too sure about this” but as you continue to eat it you start to dread the fact that it is coming to an end.