Tag Archives: celery

Recipe: Split Pea and Celeriac Soup

8 Feb

Hearty Healthy Soup

I love celeriac and should eat more of it.  It’s perfect for soups – acts like a potato, but less starchy.  It’s hard to describe the flavor – mild, kind of celery-ish, very delicate.  Pairs well with other delicate flavors like fennel and leeks.  I’ve made soups with it before, but this was a new recipe for me, from our old friend Deborah Madison, adapted from the Greens cookbook.  It used a lot of our CSA ingredients, plus rosemary from the front yard.


  • 1 cup green split peas
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp rosemary, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2 inch squares
  • 3 inner stalks celery, cut into a small dice
  • 1 celeriac, trimmed an duct into small cubes
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 T nutritional yeast (optional, but adds more nutrition and that “umami” flavor
  • 1/2 c dry white wine
  • 8 cups water or stock – I used 4 cups of each
  • pepper
  • 1 rosemary branch (about 3 inches long)
  • 1 slice of baguette/ good bread per person (for crouton/ toast)
  • Parmesan for garnish (optional)

Sort and wash the split peas.  Soak them overnight, or, if you forget, don’t fret.  Cover with boiling water and soak them for at least an hour.

Warm 3 T of the olive oil in a soup pot with bay leaves and rosemary and cook for about 3 minutes.  add garlic and cook for 30 seconds (don’t let it brown).  Add the veggies, salt and nutritional yeast and cook for 5 minutes.  Pour in the wise and raise the heat to reduce.  Add the drained peas with the water/ stock combo.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 90 minutes, until peas are soft.

Blend a few cups of the soup with an immersion blender, regular blender or food mill.  Taste for salt and add some pepper.

To make the croutons – warm the remaining 5 T of oil in a small skillet with the sprig of rosemary.  Toast the slices of bread in the oil until brown.  You can make small croutons too, but it’s easier to make the big kind.

Garnish with the croutons & cheese.  Yum!!!!


Recipe: Not Award-Winning Spicy Chipotle Lentil Chili

9 Apr

Back in college I made a lentil chili from a house mate’s cookbook that was out of this world.   Seriously delicious, and I’ve been trying to track down the recipe ever since (the book disappeared from our house and I’m not sure what cookbook it was – I thought Mollie Katzen, but her lentil chili recipe is not what I remember).  Anyway, a friend hosted a chili cook-off last weekend so it was the perfect opportunity to experiment with lentil chili.  I decided to go with this recipe from a food blogger b/c it seemed similar to the one I remembered.  It was good, not mind blowing, and we didn’t win a prize at the cookoff (not surprising though since we were the only vegetarian entry – my friend’s grandma ended up taking home the whiffle ball/bat set prize).  Despite the name, and the chipotles, this chili isn’t terribly spicy and was enhanced by a shot of hot sauce on top.


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 4 stalks celery, diced into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 2 pasilla peppers, skins blackened and peeled, diced into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, or peeled tomatoes, squished into pieces
  • 2 1/4 cup dried brown lentils
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1 cup beer (Fat Tire!)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Toppings: sour cream, shredded Cheddar, hot sauce

Heat oil in large pot or Dutch oven large enough to be your final chili pot. Add onions, carrots and celery and cook until softened, about 5-10 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes and green pepper and cook, stirring, another 5 minutes.

Heat vegetable broth in separate pot until boiling. Take out about 1/4 cup of stock into a separate bowl and mix with cornstarch until completely blended into a smooth paste. Add a little more hot broth and blend in well to avoid lumps. Add this to the sauteed vegetables in chili pot. Stir and add remaining hot broth, 1 cup at a time, to blend.

Add tomatoes to chili pot and bring to a boil. Add lentiles, chipotles, and beer and bring to another boil. Lower heat and simmer, 40-45 minutes, or until lentils are tender, but not mushy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Top with desired garnishes.

Serves 8-10

Recipe: Celery Soup with Veggie Burgers

26 Feb

This soup is very easy and quick.  The flavors are pretty subtle and refined, but sometimes it’s nice to eat something that doesn’t slap you in the mouth.  It also uses a lot of celery, which is great, since it’s been piling up lately.  Served with veggie burgers.


  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced celery with leaves
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 1 white-skinned potato, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 3 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup 1/3-inch cubes sourdough baguette (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt (I used Greek)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon plus more for garnish

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add chopped green onions; sauté 2 minutes. Add sliced celery with leaves, broth, potato, and celery seeds; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.  Puree soup in blender until smooth. Return puree to pot. Stir in cream. Season with S&P.

While the soup is cooking, heat a good dollop of olive oil in small nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add sourdough baguette cubes; sauté until brown and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Season croutons to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Also, mix the yogurt and tarragon in small bowl.

Dish the soup out into bowls, and dollop yogurt mixture on top, sprinkle with sourdough croutons. Garnish with tarragon sprigs and enjoy!

Recipe: Vegetable Bollito Misto with Mustard Butter

10 Feb

Bollito Misto literally translates from Italian to “Mixed Boil” and doesn’t sound like the sexiest way to cook vegetables.  In Italy, mammas make bollito misto by boiling various meats together for hours (tongue, capon, veal, etc.) then serving the meats with tasty sauces and serving the broth with tortellini.   Deborah Madison had a veggie version of bollito misto in Vegetarian Suppers that I wanted to try and it was fantastic.  Easy to make and super satisfying on a chilly, rainy night.

Ingredients for the broth

  • Several sprigs of thyme and parsley
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 t peppercorns
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 t olive oil
  • 2 baby shallots, sliced down the middle (or 1 small onion chopped)

Take 2 large sautee pans (I used a 10-inch and a 12-inch) and fill 2/3 with water.  Divide ingredients among the saucepans and bring to a simmer.

Ingredients for veggies (vary the amount depending on how many people you’re serving.  This made enough for 2 with leftovers for lunch the next day.  Leftover veggies can also be joined with their stock to make a pureed soup)

  • 3 turnips, pealed and cut into wedges
  • 4 or 5 radishes, quartered
  • 2 stalks of celery, cut into long sticks
  • 1 large carrot, cut into long sticks
  • 4 Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1/4 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • a handful of fingerling potatoes, larger ones halved lengthwise

Use one of the pans for stinky or difficult vegetables (turnips, radishes, brussels sprouts) and the other for more neutral vegetables.  Slip the veggies that take the longest to cook in the water first (potatoes, carrots, celery) and then continue to add in the other veggies as you move along.  Basically I added in the veggies as I prepped them.  Keep checking the veggies and gently stir them.  If you’re afraid that anything’s getting overcooked, it’s easy to take it out of the broth.  Continue to simmer until everything is cooked through.  It won’t take long.

Ingredients for the mustard butter

  • 4 T butter, softened
  • 2 t dijon mustard (or any other mustard you happen to have)
  • small handful chopped herbs (I used parsley, thyme, basil and marjoram)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside

To serve:  With a slotted spoon pile the vegetables in a dish and pour a little bit of the broth on top.  Dot with the mustard butter, which will begin to melt into the sauce and serve with some good bread.

Recipe: Celery and Meyer Lemon Risotto on a bed of Arugula

6 Feb

We first had a version of this risotto at Patina back with Eric Greenspan was chef and fell in love.  It was one of those dishes that changes the way you think about food – a flavor and texture combination that was unlike anything we had ever had.  I’ve tried to recreate the recipe a few times over the years and haven’t really ever come close to the original magic (is there a secret ingredient?).  This risotto is great nonetheless.  The citrus and celery cut the richness of the risotto while adding great texture.  Making risotto intimidated me for years – all that stirring? rice?  I still hate making rice, but have learned that risotto is hard to mess up and can be made in infinite variations with whatever ingredients are on hand.


  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 3 1/2 cups or so warm broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 baby shallot, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • zest and juice of 1 meyer lemon (a regular lemon would work too, just use half the juice)
  • lots of grated parmesan

Sautee the shallot and half the celery in a bit of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Once softened, add in the rice and stir and cook until the rice starts to get a little transparent around the edges.  Add in the white wine and stir continuously until the wine is absorbed.  Add the broth slowly, about half a cup at a time, allowing the rice to absorb the broth completely before adding more while stirring continuously all the time.  When you’ve added about half the broth, add the rest of the celery to the rice (by adding it in the beginning and in the middle you get greater depth of flavor and more interesting textures).  Keep stirring and adding broth until the rice is nicely cooked, though still al dente.  Stir in the lemon juice and zest and most of the grated cheese.  If you want a richer risotto you can also stir a T of butter or some marscapone cheese or heavy cream to finish.  Taste for salt and add pepper.  Serve on a bed of arugula with more cheese on top (the arugula will wilt nicely).  *The broth I used (Trader Joe’s low sodium vegetable broth) was very orange, making the risotto very orange.  Most risotto should be more white.