Adapted from, “Fields of Green” by Annie Somerville
Early March of 2012 at the Toy Box in Everett, Washington was plagued with chunky rain. Too cold for regular rain, too wet to be snow. A moment of warm breeze overcame the rain on Saturday afternoon (March 3). Not warm enough to ditch my jacket. I was out just long enough to breathe in the brisk air and harvest the one remaining celeraic from the precious vegetables of the winter garden. Something special was called for, a recipe that was more than everyday fare. I knew were to look. From the book shelf came my trusted “Fields of Green” by Annie Somerville. She gardens and cooks in sunny California, heaven for rain-soaked North-west gardeners. She writes with love about fresh ingredients freshly prepared. The way I like to think of my kitchen garden if only I had her skills and the money to pay the people who fill in the gaps (no one can do it all …at least not at 54)
First make a “Light Vegetable Stock” (keep it warm)
Next, harvest or gather from the pantry…
- 1 celeraic (celery root)
- 2 pounds yellow potatoes, peeled and sliced
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
Prep these vegetables. Add them to a quart of hot “Light Vegetable Stock” with salt and pepper and the bay leaf.
To a hot sauté pan add;
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 2 large (or as many small as it takes) leeks, sliced and washed (3 cups)
- 1/4 cup white wine
Melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the leeks and saute them for 3 to 4 minutes.
Next, cover the pan, turn down the heat and let the leeks continue to steam in the pan for 10 more minutes.
While the leeks steam: remove the bay leaf from the pan. Puree the soup using a food mill or stick (hand) blender. Return the soup to low heat.
Remove the saute pan lid, add the wine and continue to cook the leeks until the wine is completely reduced leaving only scent and taste. Add the leeks to the puree potato-celeric soup. Cover the soup and continue to cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
Just before serving stir in 2 Tablespoons of cream (half and half is fine)
Suggested serving: add a swirl of “Orange Creme Fraiche” (sour cream and yogurt curdle).
Annie’s tip: Celery root discolors like an apple. If you precut the celeric, set in lemon water to prevent discoloring.