Senin, 03 Januari 2011

Celery-Celery Soup

Happy New Year to all of you.
After weeks of parties, feasts, good food and maybe too much wine you might crave some healthy light dishes that can help you loose those additional pounds that you put on over the holidays. With lots of vegetables and an optional amount of cream involved, this soup might help you reach your goal.
Celery root and celery stalks provide the base for this hearty vegetable winter soup. The apples add a surprise in the center of the soup. Another winning recipe of Dorie Greenspan's new book "Around my french table".

Celery-Celery Soup
(From "Around My French Table" by Dorie Greenspan)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 celery stalks with leaves, trimmed and sliced
2 large onions, chopped
2 sweet apples, such as McIntosh or Fuji, peeled, cut into 1- to 2-inch cubes
Salt, pepper
1 pound celery root, peeled, cut in 1- to 2-inch cubes
1 bay leaf
1 thyme sprig
6 cups chicken broth
Creme fraiche, heavy cream or sour cream, for serving (optional)

Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over low heat. Toss in the sliced celery, onions and apples, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. 

Add the cubed celery root and turn it around in the butter. Toss the herbs into the pot, add the broth and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and cook at a gentle simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the celery root is soft enough to mash with the back of a spoon. If you can, pull out the bay leaf and what's left of the thyme.

Working in small batches in a blender (first choice) or food processor, puree the soup until it's smooth. (If you're using a processor or an immersion blender, you might not get a super-smooth soup. If you'd like, you can run the pureed soup through a strainer, but it's really not necessary. As you can see, mine is pretty chunky.) Taste for salt and pepper. 

This needs to be served very hot (especially on a snowy day) and, while it really doesn't need an embellishment, like just about everything else in the world, it's better with cream, so either stir some into the pot or put a spoonful in the center of each bowl and let everyone swirl it into the soup.

Playing around: 
It's fun to put a little surprise in the bottom of the soup bowl. Cut a peeled and cored apple or two into chunks and toss it into a skillet with a little melted butter. Stir it around, season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle the cubes with some curry powder. Heat, stirring, until the powder is fragrant and coats the apple evenly. Put a spoonful of apple and/or croutons in each bowl before you ladle in the soup.

Curried apples:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
¼ teaspoon curry powder
2 apples, peeled and cut into spoon-able cubes

Curried croutons:
2 cups crustless stale bread, cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
¼ teaspoon curry powder. 

For the curried apples, melt the butter in a large skillet. Stir in curry powder. Add apples and saute over medium heat just until crisp-tender.

Do the same thing with the crouton ingredients, cooking just until browned. Season with salt and pepper.

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