winter soup

I love the variety of winter vegetables.  Some only lust after the juicy summer ones, but my heart goes out to cauliflower, beets, kale, leeks, winter squash, and celery root. My approach as of late is cooking 2 soups a week in quantity to last for at least one other meal or several lunches.  In years past I was always trying to make something new and different, but now I am joyfully content with just a few basic recipes.  However, my winter soup repertoire has happily grown by one or two soups this year.  Thanks to my friend Crossley, farm box queen extraordinaire, for inspiring me with lovely vegetables, and for passing on this wonderful celery root soup recipe.  The celery root is an amazing vegetable, related to celery, but not the same.  It has a wonderful mellow, earthy parsley-like flavor when cooked – particularly with a little cream.  It reminds me in a good way of the cream of celery soup I ate as a kid (strictly from a can back then).

Fennel and Celery Root Soup           

2T butter

1⁄2 cup water

2 or 3 leek whites halved, rinsed, then sliced

1 fennel bulb quartered and sliced

1-2 celery roots, quartered and sliced

approx. 5-6 cups vegetable stock

salt and pepper to taste

1⁄2‐1 cup cream or milk

Melt butter and water together.  Add leeks, fennel, celery root and 1 tsp. salt.  Cover and cook slowly for 20 minutes.  Add the stock and simmer, covered, for an additional 20 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes, then blend or puree (with an immersion blender if you have one – one of my favorite kitchen tools).  It may get airy, but will get creamier as it sits.  Add the cream/milk and pepper.  If you are not serving immediately, the celery root will cause it to thicken so be prepared to add more cream, milk or stock when you reheat it.  Garnish with chopped parsley.

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