Celeriac Soup with Curry Popcorn

celeriac soup w curry popcornI think I need an intervention. This food thing? This continual desire to create, prepare, and taste as many delicious things to eat as humanly possible? It’s gotten out of hand. Not only do I read everything I can about food and cooking (hello, subscriptions to Saveur, Cooking Light, Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, and Cook’s Illustrated, plus my ever-growing supply of cookbooks?), coerce my husband into watching shows such as Hell’s Kitchen and Top Chef (he won’t watch No Reservations or Bizarre Foods with me), continually sign myself up for near-impossible tasks (let’s see how many different meats I can barbeque in 24 hours!), and talk to family, friends, and you, non-stop, about this food or that recipe. Nope, that’s not enough. Now, this food thing has entered my dreams. No, I don’t mean daydreams, I mean wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night, OMG-this-is-a-genius-recipe-I-must-make-it dreams.

I woke up one night, dreaming that I was feeding my husband and myself celeriac (celery root) soup, garnished with popcorn. I think it must have been a strange combination of various recipes I’d read lately, jumbling themselves around in my head, that caused me to dream of this. I immediately woke up thinking that I. Must. Make. This. Funny, since I’d never eaten celeriac in my life. But somehow, I just knew. This was the epiphany; this was the recipe.

So a week or so ago (remember I told you how I’m behind on posting my recipes?) I set out to make this soup. I did grab inspiration from Rasa Malaysia (one of my favorite blogs) and her curry popcorn recipe, thinking that the blend of the curry and celeriac would be an intriguing flavor. And even with this idea being one that’s truly “out there” for me – it worked.

Not only did it work, but the combination of a creamy, celery-scented soup, and a punchy, bold, crispy popcorn? Addictive! I would stir some popcorn into my soup, top with more, making sure each bite was a balanced soup+popcorn mix. I had a huge bowl that night. (my husband, despite my dream of serving it to him, wasn’t a celeriac fan, it turns out. He didn’t mind the flavor of the popcorn, though!)  And lest you think this was a brief love affair that would quickly fizzle, I found myself loving this combo again for lunch the next day, and was sad when it was gone.

This soup makes for a lovely vegetarian dish – and is relatively easy to prepare. (It can even be made vegan if you opt to substitute olive oil for the butter, and hemp milk for the cream.) And of course, with the weather turning colder, a comforting soup may be desperately needed!

So, do I need an intervention? Am I the only one that wakes up from dreams about recipes? Please tell me I’m not alone on this one!

curry popcorn

Celeriac Soup

4 T butter

2 lbs celeriac (celery root – about 2 softball-sized roots), peeled and chopped

1 potato, peeled and chopped

1 large leek, white and light green parts sliced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 yellow onion, chopped

3 c vegetable stock

4 oz heavy cream

salt and pepper

In a heavy, deep pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the celeriac, potato, garlic, leek, and onion. Cook until vegetables soften, stirring occasionally.

Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and allow to cook for 20 minutes or until celeriac is tender.

Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. (if no immersion blender, allow to cool for a few minutes and puree in a blender, in batches, if necessary) Return to heat, and bring to a simmer again. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and whisk in the cream. Top with popcorn just before serving, or alternatively, allow diners to top soup themselves.

Serves 4.

 

Curry Popcorn, from Rasa Malaysia

1 t cumin seeds

3 T butter

1 t curry powder (I used a gold Madras curry powder)

2 T canola oil

1/3 c popping corn

Kosher salt

In a small skillet, toast the cumin seeds over medium heat until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Remove and crush the seeds with a mortar and pestle. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the curry powder and stir with a heat-proof rubber spatula (I used a wooden spoon – be careful, as it might turn yellow permanently!). Bring to a simmer, and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the oil and popcorn. Swirl to evenly coat the popcorn. Cover the pan, leaving the lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape. Once the popping begins, hold the cover in place and shake the pan by moving it back and forth across the burner. When the popping subsides, remove the pan from heat and let rest with the lid still on for a few seconds.

Transfer the popcorn to a large bowl. Drizzle the curry butter over, while tossing the popcorn to evenly distribute. Sprinkle on the toasted cumin and salt to taste. Serve alone, or as a topping for celeriac soup. (I also imagine it would be wonderful with a gluten-free beer!)

One more thing - I have been showered with awards lately! I can’t keep up! In the past week, I have received 4 Kreativ Blogger awards from 4 terrific bloggers – The Chickenless Chick, Experimental Culinary Pursuits, Vegetable Matter, and Tasty Trix all graced me with this award.

kreativ_blogger

If you haven’t had the pleasure of checking out these blogs, please do!

I’m supposed to share 7 interesting things you don’t know about me. (I’m wondering at what point, once I’ve done this a few times, have I satisfied this for all awards? Not that I’m not grateful, I am, it’s just becoming harder to come up with things!) Anyway, here goes!

1. I was in choir when I was in middle and high school. Show choir, even. (Yup, choreography, costumes, and a pasted smile on my face while I’m singing – all of that fun stuff!) There was a time in my life where I honestly thought that I could somehow sing for a living. Looking back, I’m glad I don’t. I love music, but I don’t think I’d like being in the limelight all the time.

2. I like going grocery shopping. I’m sure I’m not the only foodie out there that shares this characteristic. I actually enjoy it – especially if it’s at a grocery where there’s cool and interesting stuff to be found, such as the ethnic groceries, farmer’s markets, or gourmet/specialty shops.

3. When I was a child, I loved to read. I couldn’t read enough. One of my favorite sets of books to read were these Time/Life science books - there was a book about the human body, a book about astronomy, a book about light (about about 20 others). They were really cool. What’s wonderful to me is that my parents gave this set of books to me a few years ago, and now I can share them with our kids.

4. Unfortunately, for the most part, our kids would rather play the Wii than read these books. (They do come in handy for assistance with homework sometimes, though!)

5. I love watching Mythbusters. I think that they have some of the coolest jobs in the world. I mean, honestly, how many people get paid to blow stuff up in the name of science?

6. I am generally not a picky eater, but I cannot stand chocolate-glazed donuts or eclairs. (This precedes my going gluten-free, but I’m sure I wouldn’t want to eat gluten-free versions either!) I imagine that not many people share this dislike. But seriously, I cannot force myself to take a bite of one of these donuts. No matter how amazing you tell me it is.

7. I love the rain. Mind you, lately it has been testing my patience (we’ve had about 10 inches in the past month), as the floods cause so many issues, but if I’m sitting inside, or on the porch, I love to watch it rain. I even love the big thunderstorms.

Now I’m to share this award with seven bloggers!

1. Cindy at Jacob’s Reward, because her blog is always a joy to read and she makes me laugh.

2. Terry at Blue Kitchen, because everything posted is drool-worthy.

3. Ellen at I Am Gluten Free, because her baked goods are awesome, I’ve made her gluten-free cinnamon rolls. Yum.

4. Erin at $5 Dinners, because who doesn’t love budget-friendly cooking that also tastes good?

5. Carrie at Ginger Lemon Girl, who cooks not only gluten-free, but also soy and dairy-free, and often vegan, but still makes it look amazing!

6. Kelly at Evil Shenanigans, because she’s a fellow Dallas-ite that always posts the most evil, sinful, decadent recipes!

7. Katrina from Gluten Free Gidget, because her blog is a delight to read – she is up-front and it’s like you’re right there with her.

Thanks to everyone again, I’m honored!

Comments

  1. Shelly Huang says

    This looks like it’s popping with flavor! Trying “out there” things are always scary, but isn’t it lots of fun?

  2. says

    I have had cooking dreams before, but I can honestly say that I have never (and probably will never) come up with anything this cool in my sleep. What a great juxtaposition… smooth soup, crunchy popcorn… mmm…

    LOL re. high school show choir! I didn’t make it into mine because auditioning scared the pants off me. I can sing like a superstar in the shower, but when I audition, my voice sounds like someone whispering a prayer before jumping off a high diving board for the first time. Kudos for your courage!

  3. says

    I remember you posting about this – it really turned out well!!! The smell of celery root is just incredible, I think. You’re not alone. Some nights I have crazy food dreams …

  4. says

    What wonderful dreams you have! I use to live in Wylie a year ago with my husband, we lived in a trailer hahaha. Thought it saved us a TON of money i told him I could not longer function in a trailer kitchen so now we live in Uptown :) I read your post on Jacob’s farm and would love to check it out sometime and your blog is wonderful btw, keep up the great work!

  5. says

    talk about creative! I would have never thought of adding some popcorn in soup. This does sound really appealing and I’m very interested in trying this one out!

  6. says

    This is awesome!!! Luckily for me I haven’t had dreams of food yet. Daydream, yes, but not sleep dream. But I’m sure it will eventually come to that. lol.

    We’ve got 5 of 7 things in common. Grocery shopping, the choir, Mythbusters, Books, and rain.

  7. says

    hahaha I’ve def had dreams about recipes I want to make, even if I’ve never eaten it before or seen a recipe for it or anything.
    Although recently, I had TWO dreams about Zebra cake (cool marbled cake), and I made it after each dream. Except the dreams were about it not turning out right, and that’s what happened…both times -_-
    the 2nd time it still tasted MAD GOOD, tho. so my dream was wrong, HA

    This looks yummy =)

  8. kristy says

    Curry popcorn…Oooo..what an interestng flavour! Wow, popcorn with soup is even more interesting. Btw, thank you very much for your reply on the almond flour post. Really appreciate it. Cheers.

  9. says

    That’s a brilliant combination. I would just grab the popcorn and eat it but with this soup, that’s incredible. Since we don’t have celeriac, I think I can do this with cauliflower.

    Congrats on your awards too.

  10. says

    Love this idea though I have to admit I’m a little apprehensive about popcorn in soup as I’m afraid of it getting mushy hehe, but the taste combination sounds great!

    Oh and I agree with you that Mythbusters have the best job ever and I too love the rain (I’m originally from Oregon where it rains 8 – 10 months out of the year), it can be very soothing as long as it’s not causing damage :)

    • tastyeatsathome says

      Lisaiscooking – I’m just an occasional popcorn lover, but when I make these unique seasonings, it’s delicious! Thank you!

      Rochelle – It starts to get mushy, but my method is to just top with a small handful, and then keep topping as I eat so that they remain somewhat crunchy with each bite of soup. LOL Yu, though! And I love Oregon and Washington, the rain makes everything beautiful there.

      Divina – Thank you. And cauliflower would be good too, I think!

      Brian from Bard’s – I LOVE Bard’s gluten-free beer. When our local Sprout’s grocery started carrying it, I sent the manager an email telling to never, ever stop selling it! This popcorn would be wonderful with a beer like this.

      Dani – if you ever post the zebra cake, let me know! Sounds cool.

      Jenn – it sounds like we’re long lost sisters!

      Joy – awesome, we could’ve been neighbors! No shame in a trailer!

      Tasty Trix – Yep, it just took me a while to a) make it and b) post about it! Thanks.

      Shelly Huang – I should do the “out there” things more often! It was fun.

      To everyone else – Thank you SO much for the kind words! Ya’ll are awesome.

  11. says

    Alda! It is so good to know that I am not going crazy! I too have crazy food dreams that keep me up and always finding myself writing down ideas in my notebook. LOL!!! I’m not a big celery fan, but I love how it looks and the popcorn idea is fabulous!

  12. says

    I think this is a brilliant recipe! What a great combination of flavors. I can commiserate with your food obsessions – magazines, cookbooks, etc. – as I am also a cooking addict.

  13. says

    I am obsessed, just like you. If I’m not cooking, I’m thinking about cooking – what to change, what to add, what to pair with what…sometimes I think it would benefit from less info but I can’t seem to help myself.

    Can’t wait to hear all about the meat grilling! Sounds like tons of fun!

  14. Creme Anglais says

    I’ve been playing around with creme fraiche this week. It is so easy to make, and I love that little bit of tang! Yesterday I used some in a chicken and mushroom soup and was delighted with the difference it made over plain cream. Maybe it would be good in your celeriac soup?

    • tastyeatsathome says

      Creme Anglais – That sounds wonderful, it would definitely add a tang. The soup is lovely by itself, but I’d imagine creme fraiche would elevate it.

      Amy, Cookin’ Canuck, Marillyn, and Diana – it is funny how we obsess so, isn’t it?

      Simply Life, mangocheeks, Linda, and nutmegnanny – Thank you!

  15. says

    I have a SERIOUS love affair going with celeriac. Last year, I made a potato gratin with it that was fantastic… but this year I’m definitely branching out. I love the idea of featuring it in its own soup. Bet this was delicious… and the curried popcorn idea sounds really great! Totally inventive!!

  16. says

    My roomies and I loved it! The popcorn is too spicy to eat by itself (maybe because I asked my Indian flatmate to prepare it :-P), but combined with the soup is just great. Also, it fizzles when you put it in the soup (why?).

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