Celery Root, Carrot and Kale Soup

by Michael on December 10, 2014 · 5 comments

Celery root soup 1

Hello friends. It’s been quite some time I know. I can only offer up my apologies for my absence. Again. The truth lies somewhere between our busy wedding season and feeling utterly uninspired recently. I tend to live in the kitchen, but as of late it’s been a mixed bag of takeout food and failed recipe attempts. It just wasn’t meant to be. But things have changed recently, for the better.

After our busiest wedding season yet, the mrs. and I decided to take a much needed break and fulfill our dream trip to Italy. Ever since I first met my wife she’s always talked about visiting Italy. I was always intrigued but I didn’t share the same wish list. Initially. But over the years as we discussed the possibility of visiting Italy I grew more and more excited at the possibility. We would research the Tuscan countryside and the towns we would want to visit, stopping at the small villages and getting lost along the way.

celery root soup prep action

 

celery root soup still shot

celery root soup hands on

And that’s just what we did. A few weeks ago we set off on a 12 day trip to Italy, rented a car and explored the countryside, as planned. We stayed for the majority of our trip in Figline Valdarno, just south of Firenze. Each day we explored the Tuscan countryside, driving through the winding roads that led us to our destination. And some days we set off without a GSP in hopes of getting lost. We made day visits to Firenze, Siena, San Galgano, Greve in Chianti, Montepulciano and Volpaia. And every small village in between. The charming small towns stole our hearts.

We always stopped to take scenic pictures, pull up at a faraway restaurant for bar snacks or lunch, making sure to take time to enjoy the food and the moment and slow our pace down quite a bit. Spreading our the time and learning to live the pace.

celery root soup above

celery root soup close

I will always remember the look on my wife’s face every time we saw or experienced something new. Whether it was the stunning landscapes, charming small hilltop villages or the food we ate. I will not soon forget it. It’s now forever a part of my memories.

It is hard to put into words just how amazing an experience Italy was. The people are passionate, friendly and generous. The countryside is glorious and breathtaking. And the food is simple, delicious and inspiring. The one thing I’ll take from the trip (and I’ve taken so many things from our time in Italy) is the food. Even though each region differs in the way they make the same dishes, the basis is the same. Fresh in-season ingredients, limited number of ingredients and handmade when required. It was a game changer.

celery root soup spoon

The pasta was always hand made, ingredients always peak freshness and the end result was always delicious, sometimes even putting me at a loss for words. I didn’t have a single bad meal. As a matter of fact, I can remember every place we ate at and everything I ordered. It was that memorable. And it was eye opening. I always knew this, but Italy helped me remember. Fresh is always better, and the best things are often incredibly simple and hassle-free.

Now that we’re back home and amidst the holiday season, I have found my lost inspiration. I’ve started to attack the kitchen again and create new recipes again. Just like this one.  Simple and fresh and perfect for the cold days and nights ahead. A few fantastic ingredients, great stock and healthy as an added bonus.

celery root soup hand away

 

If you want to see some of the photos we took (the vast majority taken by my wife) head on over to her blog. We are even selling some of the prints, if interested. Let me know what you think.

From my kitchen to yours,

Michael

 

CELERY ROOT, CARROT AND KALE SOUP

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium celery root, peeled and diced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • sea salt & fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup tubed pasta
  • 2 tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 4 slices baguette, cut on the bias
  • 2 tsp. unsalted butter
  • garlic clove, cut in half
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

PREP:

  1. Heat oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat and add the celery root, carrots and garlic. Cook until golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in the leek, celery and kale and cook for another minute. Pour in the stock and add the bay leaves and season well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened.
  2. Boil salted water and add in the pasta and cook according to the directions, roughly 8 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425F degrees. Butter the baguette slices and place in the oven until golden brown, roughly 5 minutes.
  4. Discard the bay leaves and and stir in the  pasta and parsley. Ladle the soup into a bowl and top with a baguette slice and some grated Parmesan.

 

{ 5 comments }

Scrambled Eggs, Smoked Trout and Fresh Horseradish on a Bagel

My apologies for being so distant from this blog these last couple of months. I hold no excuses. Maybe it was just a collection of circumstances that contributed to the blank noise over here. For far too long. But I’m back and loaded with new memories from a summer filled to the brim with wonderful events and not soon forgotten moments. I’m also returning with a new recipe that will kickstart your weekend breakfast routine and turn it in a completely new direction.

The only day of the week when breakfast isn’t hurried or rushed is on those rare Sundays when we wake up early following a long Saturday shoot. The weekend landscape changed dramatically when we started filling up our Saturdays with wedding shoots that start early and last all day and night. On the occasion when we return home early enough on a Saturday night that we don’t have to sleep the next morning away, Sunday becomes the perfect reason to sit down for a long, relaxed breakfast. Rare but not forgotten.

Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Trout  Horseradish and Spring Onions

After we set the coffee and dust away the aches from the previous day, my wife gets to work culling and editing pictures for the morning-after sneak peek and I get to work in the kitchen preparing something to fuel us. And bring us back together. No time frame, just the two of us enjoying some food and taking about the day that was and the day that will be. It’s a cycle that sets the mood for the the day and begins with a rich breakfast like this one.

There are days when my inspiration is matched by equal parts energy and a big Sunday brunch is order. Baked eggs, fresh country bread slightly charred, smoked meat and farm fresh fruit and veggies to choose from. But other days, particularly Sundays following a big wedding, something easy and quick is in order. Usually buttery scrambled eggs and something smoked. In this case I used smoked trout because it’s earthy and rich and plays with the lightness of the eggs. Especially eggs that are barely set and still soft and light.

Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Trout, Horseradish and Spring Onions

This is the kind of breakfast I long for on weekends. Throw on a big pot of coffee, have some thick cut country toast, lots of seasonal fruit spread out and something like this for breakfast. It’s the rare moments like these when I appreciate the time we’re given together and the chance to sit back and relax over a drawn out Sunday morning. Let it shine a little longer.

Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Trout and Horseradish half eaten

From my kitchen to yours,

Michael

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 large free-range eggs
  •  1/3 cup heavy cream
  • knob of butter
  • 1 smoked trout fillet, lightly flaked with a fork
  • 3 tbsp. spring onions, thinly sliced
  • grated horseradish
  • sea salt & cracked pepper, to taste
  • 2 bottom halves, Montreal bagel

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Whisk the eggs, cream and salt & pepper in a bowl until mixed.
  2. Heat butter in a non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the egg mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until it begins to firm up along the edges. Fold the eggs into the centre, pushing the eggs in the middle to the outside. Continue for another 2 minutes until they begin to firm up slightly but remain soft and moist.
  3. Add in the trout and spring onions and fold together.
  4. Toast the Montreal bagels until lightly browned and plate them. Top with the egg mixture and lightly grate some fresh horseradish over top.
  5. Serves 2-3.

{ 8 comments }

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