In searching for cooking demo recipe ideas that would highlight vegetables available on our April market day, I found a lovely recipe for Celeriac and Spinach Soup on the United Kingdom Allrecipes site that totally fit the bill. The measurements were all in metric, which led me to make an error when figuring out the amount of water needed, which, happily, led to my discovering that cooked cannellini beans are great for thickening and are also the perfect flavor match for this soup.
I also neglected to think through my saucepan choice when grabbing a size up from the market pan from my own supply of cookware. Note to self: make sure all cookware for demos works on an induction burner. Disaster was averted because Memorial Hall, where the market was located, has a kitchen with a stove.
Because I used way too much water, albeit was able to save the day and create a soup that was rather splendid, if I do say so myself, I made it again at home so I could be sure of the proportions of the veggies to water, etc. before sharing the recipe. The following recipe makes 4 cups of soup, less than the original recipe but easy to halve, double, and adapt to your liking.
Cook’s Note: While you can use a regular vegetable peeler and box grater to prep the celeriac, I (with my arthritic thumb joints) recommend using a ceramic Y type peeler or use a knife to slice off the peel and use the grate option on a food processor if that is an option. Also, although the original recipe calls for “young leaf spinach,” the regular fresh spinach I used, including an inch or two of the stems, cooked down and puréed just fine.
For the soup, I used celeriac and spinach from Farmer Dave’s, an onion from Oakdale Farm, beans from Baer’s Beans, Greek yogurt from The Roasted Granola Co., and Ras el Hanou (an African spice mix that contains nutmeg, among many other ingredients) from Soluna Garden Farm, who will, someday I hope, join our market. They are located in Winchester and also have an online store. I highly recommend you check them via solunagardenfarm.com.
Celeriac and Spinach Soup
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, 5 oz or so, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 celeriac, about 10 oz, peeled and grated to make three cups lightly packed
3 1/2 cups water*
1/2 pound spinach to make 7 cups lightly packed
½ cup cooked cooked cannellini beans* (optional)
½ tsp Ras el Hanou* (or grated nutmeg to taste, see directions, below)
salt (start with ½ tsp) and pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp Greek-style yogurt* per cup, stirred in (optional)
NOTES: *I used plain water, but the veggie stock called for in the original recipe would be a nice addition. I used the beans at the demo and I think they add a wow factor, but my batch at home was also great without them. I highly recommend investing in a jar of Ras el Hanou, but I am sure just the nutmeg that the original recipe calls for would add a lovely touch, as well. As to the yogurt, if you don’t do dairy, leave it out and use the beans if you want a thicker soup.
Directions: Cook the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes or until getting soft. Add the celeriac. Pour in the water of stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the celeriac is tender. Stir the spinach into the soup, bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Let the soup cool slightly before puréeing it with an immersion blender or in batches with a standard blender or food processor. Add cooked beans if using, adding water if too thick. Reheat the soup, if necessary, then stir in the Ras el Hanou or a little grated nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt. Or not; it is tasty either way.
This recipe was adapted from https://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/2711/celeriac-and-spinach-soup.aspx. I encourage you to check it out as it includes lots of tips for further adaptation.
Great snack – just roast some cooked legumes!
I also sprinkled a bit of tamari over some light red kidney beans from Baer’s Beans that I had cooked earlier, spread them in one layer on a foil-lined tray, and popped them into the market toaster oven preheated to 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. It made for a fun and tasty part crunchy, part chewy, and very nutritious snack. Seconds on samples were requested by many.