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January 28, 2009
I thought I was so smart getting up at 5 am and turning the car around in the driveway so that I wouldn't have to back out in the snow (I'm not crazy about reverse in any weather -- it's just another quirk I'll work on one day when I've got more time). What I failed to remember was that the snowplow would come along and sock me into the driveway no matter which way my car was pointing. Oh well, it's not so bad being snowbound, since the electricity -- and therefore the heat -- is still working and I've got a lots of stuff in the fridge and the cupboards so that I can play in the kitchen. And, I've got soup, always a good thing.
I drove up to Connecticut solo yesterday and did a little foraging on the way, knowing that I might have to stay in today. And last night, while I had a chicken roasting in the oven, I made a pot of celery soup, which, good as it was last night, was even better for breakfast. While I don't usually have soup before my morning coffee, I don't usually get up at 5 to do heavy manual labor. When I came in from the cold and was finally able to rassure myself that all my digits would work once again, soup seemed liked the best idea, as good an idea as it seemed just an hour or so ago, when I guess I could legitimately say it was lunch. I'm calling this Double Celery and Apple Soup, but it might just as well be called Soup for a Topsy-Turvy Day. The way things are going, I might be having oatmeal for dinner.
DOUBLE CELERY AND APPLE SOUP
Makes 6 servings
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 stalks celery, with leaves, sliced
2 large yellow onions, peeled, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 sweet apples, such as Macintosh or Fuji, peeled, cored and cubed
1 pound celery root, peeled, trimmed and cubed
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper
CrÃ¨me 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 in each bowl before you ladle in the soup.
In and Around the House in Connecticut
In the Kitchen
Soups & Starters
| January 28, 2009 6:05 PM
welcome back to suburbia! & snow shoveling!
soup looks good for breakfast, I have been known to eat roast chicken leftovers for breakfast!
| January 29, 2009 7:20 AM
Sorry you got snowed in...last time the plows came through (after 11 inches of wet snow) I had to shovel it, it was the worst!
| January 29, 2009 9:20 AM
A perfect winter soup, for breakfast or whenever! Funny that you mention having oatmeal for dinner; I was just reading about a savory oatmeal recipe with scallions and soy sauce from Mark Bittman. Stay warm!
| January 29, 2009 10:58 AM
This sounds wonderful! Connecticut was AWFUL yesterday and I can imagine that this soup would make shoveling and clearing off cars a little more bearable...
| January 29, 2009 11:13 AM
Oh how I miss snow! Well, not the shoveling and cleaning the car off bit, or the cold, but the prettiness of it all. Your soup looks amazing. Oatmeal for dinner makes a nice change I would think. They say you should breakfast like a king and sup like a pauper to keep your weight down. Don't know if it works though as I just eat like a glutton all the time! lol
| January 29, 2009 4:26 PM
The soup sounds delicious and the best thing is that I have all the ingredients in the fridge! One of my favourite meals is roast chicken and the soup that follows from the bones. For me it is one of the best comfort foods in winter. Perfect for snowy, rainy, or even sunny winter days. BTW, Mark has made your celery root/chestnut soup a million times, to the delight of his family and friends. The reviews are always spectacular. I think I'll make soup for dinner tonight. The difficult decision is which one? Bon app.
| January 29, 2009 8:26 PM
I love your book "Baking from my home to yours". I've tried many things from it, including the incredible devil's food white out cake. Thank you for your wonderful recipes!
| January 29, 2009 8:51 PM
Glad to hear we're not the only ones tormented by snow plows! Stay warm!
T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types
| January 29, 2009 11:14 PM
What a beautiful color that soup is - and it looks so perfect nestled in the snow! I was in the Midwest, where it was quite cold, and missed the entire storm, but I'm glad to have caught up with this warming soup!
| January 30, 2009 9:15 AM
Double celery and apple soup sounds amazing. Soup does wonders in the winter.
| January 30, 2009 9:18 AM
Ah, I haven't visited here for far too long. It feels like coming home :)
| January 30, 2009 11:56 AM
We haven't had the snow here in Minnesota like you've had in the northeast, but it's been COLD; pipe-bursting cold (but that's another story). A hot bowl of soup and some really good bread is just the best in weather like this.
laura @ cucina testa rossa
| January 30, 2009 7:54 PM
hi dorie! :) it's been about 65, 70 degrees and gloriously sunny here the past week so i'm ready to break out the gazpacho :) stay warm!
| February 1, 2009 2:16 PM
It sounds as though, with the exception of Laura in sunny California, we're all getting a real old-fashioned winter. Although I was so surprised to read that Eileen said that it's not as snowy in Minnesota as it is here in Connecticut. That's probably a first. I hope you're all cozy and warm and that your soup pots are always full.
| February 1, 2009 10:46 PM
I feel thankful that I'm a city dweller now, I don't miss all that snowplowing drama! This soup looks outstanding - I love it when fruit makes it's way into savory winter soups. I'm trying a banana-based soup recipe this week, hope it is as comforting as yours.
| February 2, 2009 3:58 PM
I like this soup a lot. I used a red and a yellow onion and only one apple. Will make it again.
| February 8, 2009 9:35 PM
The celery/apple soup turned out just wonderful. Thank you for the recipe. We added just a little squeeze of fresh lemon juice to the soup just before serving. I also used a stick mixer and the consistency was just fine.
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