Snow Again, Soup Again
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.