We finished picking and husking the last of the field corn yesterday on the windiest day of the year! The wind had blown down many of the stalks and the horses were uneasy standing with the wagon, while we picked, but it is good to have it done and the new corn crib looks great!
Celeriac is such an ugly looking vegetable that many people are scared of it, but it is a wonderful addition to the soup pot. I would like to share a recipe adapted from a new cookbook, Roots by Diane Morgan. I found the “bouquet garni” adds a very nice flavour to the soup. The easiest way to clean a leek is to cut it lengthwise and then wash away the dirt from between the layers under running tap water.
CREAM OF CELERY (Celeriac) ROOT & LEEK SOUP
10 pepper corns
1 bay leaf
4 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
4 fresh thyme sprigs
2 tbsp butter
1 large leek – white and light green part only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 large garlic clove, minced
4 cups water
1 large celery root, trimmed, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
2 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup whipping cream
¼ cup crème fraîche , sour cream or yogurt
2 tbsp finely snipped fresh chives
1) Cut an 8 inch square of cheesecloth and place the peppercorns, bay leaf, parsley, and thyme in the center. Bring the edges to form a bag and tie securely with kitchen twine to make a bouquet garni, Set aside.
2) In a 4- to 6b qt. saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and swirl to coat the pan bottom. Add the leek and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 98 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the water, celery root, salt, pepper, and bouquet garni and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered, until the celery root is tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for a bout 10 minutes.
3) Discard the bouquet garni. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Return the pureed soup to the saucepan, place over low heat, and add the cream. Warm the soup until steaming hot. Do not allow it to boil. Taste and adjust the seasoning. (The soup can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. Let cool, transfer to a covered container, and refrigerate. Rewarm over low heat just before serving.
4 Ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Garnish each bowl with a dollop of crème fraîche, sour cream or yogurt and a pinch of chives. Serve immediately.