I 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!
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.
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
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.
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!