Celeriac and Soups

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Celeriac as shown at left straight from the garden is in the running for ugliest vegetable, When peeled and chopped it looks a good bit better as in the center. And when added to a soup like the pea soup at right, the flavor makes it worth taking up space in the garden all season.

Celeriac is more common in European gardens and kitchens than American ones, and I first experienced it while living in Hungary. And in the pre-internet days when I was there I learned by experience that its flavor is much stronger that the stalk celery that is more common in  American cuisine, That first stuffing we made putting in celeriac instead of celery resulted in a stuffing with an overpowering celery flavor. Using 1/3 the amount of celeriac instead of celery produced a flavor closer to mom’s recipe.

In the garden it is easier to grow than celery. The greens can be used all summer and the root stores well, providing a long season of flavor. And for the best mirepoix you have ever had, use celeriac.

Another food experience from my time in Hungary was soup with dumplings. They can be firm dumplings that are kneaded and dropped in by hand or softer dumplings that are dropped with a spoon into a boiling soup. First dipping the spoon into the soup results in dumplings that slide off the spoon without sticking. Dumplings are varied; herbs, cheese and leftover mashed potatoes can all be used. The soft spooned dumplings in the soup below used all of those along with egg and flour.

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And what better way to finish a soup than with a garnish of parsley. And if it happens to be from parsley that self seeded between terrace rocks all the better.

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2 thoughts on “Celeriac and Soups

  1. That is a lovely dish. I usually use celeriac the way I learned in France, grated in a salad, but this really looks worth trying, especially with those lovely dumplings. Lovely little patch of parsley too!

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