“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.” Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
The days are growing longer and the daytime temperatures are teasing us into thinking spring is truly here. The winter hellebores are joined by the gorgeous crocuses, the early daffodils are unfurling their trumpets while the lilacs are shyly opening their buds alongside the red maples boldly showing off their red leaves awakening from their winter slumber. The birds are a cacaphony of song. Spring is here.
Our tastebuds are also awakening from heavy winter foods and are craving fresh flavors. I find early spring with its chill still in the air is one of those in between seasons as far as food is concerned. A spring soup was my solution to satisfy my urge for spring cooking while still finding comfort from the fickle weather. Celery root, also called celeriac or root-celery is related to leaf celery without any of its fibrous texture. It is grown for its knobby underground root and is more popular in Eastern and Northern Europe. It has a distinct delicate celery flavor but it cooks up with a velvety silky texture, ,much like a cream of potato soup. It is low in calories, high in fiber, and a good source of vitamins K, C, B and essential minerals such as phosphorus, iron, copper and manganese(nutrition-and-you.com).
The puree soup was so rich and smooth, it did not need the addtion of milk or cream. It was a bowl of all vegetable goodness. To add a note of brightness, I drizzled some Meyer Lemon Olive Oil for a dose of omegas 3s, over the top and sprinkled a bit of bacon. You could alternatively serve it with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche with some chopped chives. We were bowled over by this nourishing, equally satisfying, lighter soup. Spring is here. Grab your spoon and dig in.
Creamy Celery Root and Leek Soup
Adapted from David Lebovitz
- 1 large bulb of celery root, peeled and chopped in chunks
- 2 leeks, white part only, sliced (or 2 shallots or 1 small yellow onion)
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 T unsweetened butter
- sea salt to taste
- 3 c of chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 c water
- black or white pepper to taste, about 1-1/2 t
- For toppings: drizzle of lemon-flavored olive oil and some crumbled bacon)
- In a heavy soup pot, melt the butter and oil together. Add the leeks and cook until translucent. Add the garlic then the chopped celery root, salt then the broth and water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to cook until the celery root is cooked through, about 45 minutes.
- Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Serve with a drizzle of ollive oil and chopped bacon or herbs.
“In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty six diferent kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.” Mark Twain