Herbed Celery Root & Parsnip Soup

How about steepin’ out with some new veggies in 2015?IMG_2243

This soup is a light and refreshing chowder delicious on it’s own and even better with roasted fish added. Due to my delicate constitution (or delicate humors) I can’t eat onions/leeks/garlic lately but the herbs give this soup tons of flavor.

When peeling the celery root you will notice a strong celery flavor (didn’t see that coming!) but I guess I was surprised as it looks nothing like celery. It has a mild flavor that is an excellent potato substitute. Double down on the parsnip for a sweeter soup.

The herbs will come off their stem when cooking–no need to take off leaves in advance.

Ingredients:

  • Celery root, peeled and cubed
  • Parsnip, peeled and cube
  • Big bunch or fresh oregano and/or thyme
  • Kale or other green vegetable
  • Water

Directions:

  • Cover celery root, parsnip and herbs with water and bring to a boil
  • Simmer at least 45 minutes or until very soft
  • Remove stems of herbs
  • Blend with stick blender
  • Add greens and simmer until cooked through

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Chicken Soup

Ideally, making chicken soup is a leisurely affair involving a bath and/or a nap. You could make it in a couple of hours–but I like to make a day out of it.IMG_3406

All you really need to make it is a big pot, a chicken, water, onion and salt. I make it differently each time depending on what I have on hand. It is a great way to cook all those extra farm box veggies and I sometimes freeze the parts I don’t use (kale ribs etc.) for this purpose. A typical recipe combination I use is listed below.

You will have many meals from this one dish: chicken dinners, sandwiches, and plenty of broth to freeze.

Ingredients:

  • One whole organic, free-range chicken (I like Mary’s Chicken)
  • Celery greens (adds a lot of flavor)
  • Onion, cut in half
  • Whole garlic, cut in half
  • Carrots
  • Burdock root (medicinal)
  • Fresh Dill and Thyme (put in spice bag or wrap in cheesecloth)
  • Greens
  • Salt

Steps:

  • Put all ingredients in stock pot, cover in water and add salt. Bring to a boil.
  • Once it reaches a boil, add more salt. You may also skim the fat off at this time.

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  • Simmer uncovered for 40 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and cover.
  • Take a nap and/or bath.
  • Allow chicken to continue to cook with heat off for 1-2 hours.
  • Remove chicken and allow to cool.
  • Scoop out vegetables with a mesh strainer and discard. Rinse out the spice bag for reuse.
  • Once cool remove from bones and shred. You can freeze the carcass for another use.

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  • Remove broth–I like to use a glass measuring cup for easy pouring.

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  • Store in glass and plastic containers for the refrigerator and freezer.

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Fun with Parsnips

I’m sure there are places in the world where everyone is “whoo hoo” when it comes to parsnips. Around these parts you get more of a “meh” reaction about them. Poor little guys.

This recipe is similar to other soups I’ve posted– but I did my partsnip (forgive the pun) and made *parsnip* the star.  If you have any suggestions on cooking parsnips I would love to hear about them.

Until then…may the parsnip be (mildly) with you!

Parsnip/Fennel/Leek/Asparagus Soup

Ingredients:

  • Several parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • Fennel bulb, chopped
  • Two leeks, just white part, chopped
  • Two cloves garlic peeled
  • Three cups water (or enough to cover veggies)
  • Asparagus (several)
  • One tablespoon butter
  • One tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Cook leeks in butter, olive oil and salt for several minutes over low heat stirring frequently. Add parsnips, fennel, garlic and water. Bring to a boil and simmer until veggies are soft. Puree with stick blender. Chop asparagus but leave tops on for “flair”. Turn off heat and allow asparagus to cook a few minutes in hot soup.

Acorn Squash and Bok Choy Soup

This soup has similar elements to my Butternut Squash and Green Apple Soup but a totally different flavor profile. Yes I did write flavor profile.

Ingredients:

  • One acorn squash cooked*
  • One onion chopped
  • Two cloves crushed garlic
  • One head bok choy, leaves separated and chopped
  • Handful of fresh spinach (about 1 cup)
  • Dash of red pepper
  • Salt
  • Olive oil & butter to taste
  • Three cups water
  • Dash of red pepper
  • Grated lemon zest

Cook onions and salt in olive oil and butter until soft.  Add squash, garlic, red pepper and water and simmer @ 10-15 minutes. When soft enough puree with stick blender. Turn off heat and allow greens to cook in hot soup. Serve topped with grated lemon zest.

*Slice in half and remove seeds. Roast at 450, skin side up in a covered pan with a little water until you can put a fork through.