Donna Currie is a Colorado food writer and the creator of Cookistry, a blog full of Donna's original recipes, which balance whimsy with practicality, artistry with kitchen science. In this column, you'll find recipes that minimize fuss and maximize flavor.
Today, Donna shares two simple, silky soups.
Two Warming Soups
In cold weather, there's not much that's better than a bowl of soup. The great thing about soup is that it's so versatile. It can be light or hearty, meaty or meatless, an appetizer or a meal, planned ahead or a clean-the-refrigerator free for all. I’m pretty sure I could eat soup every day of the week and never tire of it.
The first soup is all about celery, but it’s not a one-note soup. Celery root and celery stalks taste similar, but they’re not the same. The root is almost potato-like in texture, and one of my favorite things to do is add it to mashed potatoes. But this time, it’s serving as the base of my soup.
There's no sense in telling you that you need a certain amount of celery root. My experience is that they'll all be about the same size at the store. Sometimes they're a little bigger, sometimes they're a little smaller. Buy one; it will be fine!
1 celery root
1 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 stalks celery, halved lengthwise and sliced
2 cups milk
Celery leaves, for garnish
I adore tomato soup. It's one of my favorites. I love it puréed and smooth. I love it with chunky bits of tomato. I love it with cream. I love it with rice or noodles. I don't think I've met a tomato soup I didn't like.
This particular tomato soup is vegetarian, and it would be easy to make it vegan by substituting oil for the butter and using egg-free noodles or rice. And, of course, you wouldn't use blue cheese as a garnish.
Kluski noodles, if you're not familiar with them, are a rustic-looking egg noodle. They have a rough surface rather than a smooth one. If the butter seems a bit excessive, keep in mind that it's the only fat in this soup. Per serving, you're not getting much butter. But, if you like, you could cut back on it.
This soup reheats well, although the noodles will absorb some of the soup as it sits. To thin it out, just add more water until you reach the consistency you like.
As a kid, I always liked my tomato soup with a side of crackers, usually with a little butter. Or, if there was any around, just a little cream cheese. Blue cheese made a perfect accompaniment this time. If you like, you could simply crumble some cheese on top, or serve it on crackers on the side. I thought a cheesy cracker raft floating on the soup made a nice presentation. I used a Point Reyes blue cheese here, but feel free to choose your favorite.
Tomato Noodle Soup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 stalks celery
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 can (28 ounces) water
Several grinds black pepper
6 ounces (this was 1/2 bag) kluski noodles cooked al dente in boiling salted water
Blue cheese and crackers, for garnish
Photos by Donna Currie
Like this post? See Donna's previous topic: Growing and Eating Sprouts.
Donna is a Colorado food writer and the inventive blogger behind Cookistry. If she's not in the kitchen, she's likely shopping for intriguing new edibles.
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