Celery and Celeriac Soup; Any Celebrities?

Celery and Celeriac Soup

Yesterday (Saturday 13th March) was the day for making soup. I've realised, by the way, that as I tend to prepare this blog over several days, I need to put in dates for the various activities or events I report on.

During the week I spotted celeriac in the local green grocer's. As I've never cooked celeriac before I thought it might be a good choice for this weekend's soup. On arriving home I got out The Soup Book and checked the possibilities: Camembert and celeriac, celeriac and hazelnut, the intriguingly titled "soup of the first and last", and celery and celeriac. So, being one for a little alliteration, I chose the last. The ingredients include the eponymous vegetables, potato, and vegetable or chicken stock. The suggested accompaniment is walnut bread.

Apparently, celeriac (Apium graveolens rapaceum) is also known as 'celery root,' 'turnip-rooted celery' or 'knob celery' (see Wikipedia). An article entitled The Vegetable World's Ugly Duckling by Jack Staub (www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6551175) states that celeriac is related to celery, anise, carrots, parsley and parsnips. It is used as a starch alternative to potatoes.

I called back to the green grocer's to buy the celeriac, and as the smallest one in the shop was twice the weight required, I decided to make twice the quantity. This involved a lot of chopping. I took out my biggest dekshee (what my father used to call big cooking pots) but soon realised it wasn't big enough for all the vegetables and the 2 litres of chicken stock (home-made, of course). So out came dekshee number 2. I sauteed the vegetables in two batches, one of which was slightly more caramelised than I had intended. Then there was a lot of processing before the addition of the stock.

On completion the soup has a lovely thick and fibrous texture, and tastes of all the related vegetables mentioned above. A friend had the first bowlful last night, and the offspring and I had ours for lunch about an hour age. Even the picky one commented favourably! Incidentally, there are a few bags of of it in the freezer.

Lines from The Lacuna

I've just started reading The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. These lines are worth quoting in a blog about making soup:
"And like a tree, Leandro [a chef] was planted there for most of each day, cutting up chayotes with his machete on the big work table. Or peeling shrimps, or making sope de milpa: corn kernel soup with diced squash blossom and avocado. Xochitl soup, with chicken and vegetables in broth."

Bee Alert

On Thursday afternoon (11th March) I got a phone call from the spouse alerting me to an item being broadcast on Newstalk (www.newstalk106.ie) about bees. While I didn't hear all of it, I heard the importance of the queen being mentioned, as well as her role as sperm carrier. I couldn't place what part of the country the bee-keeper was from, but I gathered that he was letting the nervous interviewer close to the hives to taste the honey. Then when checking the Newstalk website to see if I could find the radio item, I found that Ross McDonnell was interviewed about the documentary Colony.

Yesterday I bought spray furniture polish with beeswax and a Twining's tea flavoured with camomile, honey and vanilla.

During the week my copy of Adrian Crowley's Season of the Sparks arrived and I have listened to it several times. I am growing accustomed to The Beekeeper's Wife and quite like Squeeze Bees, despite the questionable lines about money and honey! The track The Three Sisters also mentions bees.

Any Celebrities?

Yes, two, but I'm leaving it that.


  1. Sorry I missed it. Looked in the fridge today for left-overs but there wasn't any. *sniffs*


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