Guest Blogger: Gail Osterman
When I picked up the last shipment of my CSA veggies for the year, I was overwhelmed with the bounty! There were more vegetables there than I could possibly even use for Thanksgiving dinner. I knew I had to do something immediately with some of them, since I don’t have a root cellar and I needed the refrigerator space for the turkey, which was soon to come.
I decided to tackle the veggie that I had no idea what it was. Of course, I knew the name. The kind CSA farmers do educate us…in fact, that is one of the reasons I like my CSA. Not only do I get delicious, fresh, organic produce for 20+ weeks, but each week I get some items that I would probably never buy, either because I have never been exposed to them before, or I didn’t like them in my childhood. The CSA is singularly responsible for expanding our repertoire of healthy foods and making our meals more interesting.
So back to the mystery veggie…it is celeriac root. Celeriac root is routinely used in French cooking in Europe. Certainly not the most attractive vegetable, but it must be flavorful if the renowned French chefs use it. So mystery solved…but now what do do with it? That is where my trusty iPad came into play. Since getting the iPad, it has become the “Command Central” in our family, and resides on the kitchen counter. I googled celeriac root and up popped numerous recipes!
I selected black bean and vegetable soup that would make use of some of the many other vegetables I had on hand. I did not have dried beans on hand, but did use a large can of organic black beans from the cupboard.
1 cup dried black beans, soaked overnight OR 1 can organic black beans, drained
6 cups beef or chicken, vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 large onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium celeriac root, peeled and chopped into 1″ cubes
2 large carrots, cut into 1″ rounds
1 large parsnips, cut into 1″ rounds
2 medium size, yukon potatoes, washed,but unpeeled and cut into 1″ cubes
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbl fresh cilantro, minced
Ground black pepper to taste
1. Drain beans and discard water OR drain the can of beans.
2. In a large stockpot on high heat, bring beans and stock to a boil. Skim off any foam that rises and discard.
3. Add bay leaves, onion, garlic, celeriac root, carrots, parsnips and potatoes. Then let soup return to a boil.
4. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook 45 – 50 minutes.
5. With strainer or slotted spoon, remove 2 cups of beans and vegetables from the pot and puree in a food processor or blender.
6. Pour puree back into the soup.
7. Add salt, cilantro and pepper. Continue cooking for 20 – 30 minutes or until beans are soft and creamy.
The result…a perfect Friday night dinner. ( picture to come when we eat) Add some freshly baked corn bread and a salad, and it is a perfect meal for November night. And what I learned from the recipe was that as the growing season comes to an end, the nutrients sink to the roots of the vegetables. So our soup of celeriac root, carrots, parsnips, and potatoes are packed with nutrient bombs!