Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What To Do With That Crazy Looking Vegetable
Creamy Celeriac, Potato and Pear Soup
Vegan And Gluten Free

Celeriac and pears combine beautifully in this fall soup.

Need more vegan recipes and menus for the holidays?
Download my eBook, Health Begins in the Kitchen,
available on Amazon and iTunes.

What's this Crazy Looking Vegetable in my CSA Box?
Did you receive a weird looking vegetable in your CSA box that looks like someone crossed a large jicama with the head of Medusa? Or did you pass something like that in the produce section of your grocery store and wonder what it was? Well, this knobby jewel is called celeriac, also known as celery root. 

After many years of passing them by, I finally worked up the courage to buy one this weekend. After tasting it, both raw and cooked, I really regret having waited so long.

Beneath the knobby skin, the inside flesh has the consistency and flavor of celery only a bit milder and without the annoying strings. Nutritionally, it's a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, manganese and magnesium and very good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, phosphorus and potassium. A cup of celeriac is only 66 calories and is virtually fat free. Slice it into salads, mash it, puree it, roast it or throw it into a soup. This vegetable is quite versatile.

Celeriac (celery root) after peeling

Since the temperature is dropping across the country and the holidays are approaching, I thought a fall soup recipe would be welcomed. Enjoy!

        *                      *                        *

Creamy Celeriac, Potato and Pear Soup
Vegan and Gluten Free
[makes 6 servings]

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
4 cups peeled and diced celeriac (about 1 1/2 pounds before peeling)
4 cups peeled and diced potatoes
2 medium pears, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
2 thin lemon slices
1 teaspoon Earth Balance buttery spread
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon Mediterranean pine nuts 
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 

Heat the oil in a soup pot or 5-quart Dutch oven and cook the onion, on medium-low heat, until it softens, about 5 minutes. 

Stir in the celeriac, potatoes, pears and thyme and cook, stirring constantly, for another 2 minutes. 

Add the broth, salt, pepper, and lemon slices and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. 

Remove the lemon slices and blend the soup, either using a hand blender or a regular blender (you may have to process in batches) until smooth.

I find using an electric hand blender is a lot simpler than using a blender.

Return the blended soup to the pot. Stir in the Earth Balance and, after it melts, the lemon juice. If it's too thick, add a bit more broth or hot water. Adjust the salt and pepper and amount of lemon juice if necessary.

I usually like to use raw nuts in all my recipes but I find that pine nuts are much tastier in a recipe like this if they are briefly toasted in a heated frying pan for just a few minutes. 

Pour the soup in individual soup bowls and top with pine nuts and parsley.

Each bowl is only 223 calories!

Per serving: 223 calories, 4 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 31 mg omega-3 and 895 mg omega-6 fatty acids, 5 g protein, 41 g carbohydrate, 8 g dietary fiber, and 311 mg sodium.

No comments: