Monday, August 6, 2007
1 Recipe #7: The "It-Tastes-Too-Good-To-Be-Healthy-For-Me," Scrumptious Celery Soup
I'm the type of cook that likes to use a little of this and a little of that. And so, not surprisingly, my recipes follow suit.
And although cooking is part-science, part art, I am on an experience level where I pretty much already KNOW how much I really need of a particular ingredient to make a recipe work.
So, when I concoct original creations, I find it rather irritating to focus on little petty details like amounts of ingredients. ;-) Usually, I'm a fairly good-humored individual, but the aforementioned statement happens to be all-the-more true when I'm feeling particularly cranky! 8-0 Honestly, I find it bothersome to have to repeat or record recipe information. Bluntly put, I am the type of cook who likes to conquer new "culinary" mountains, instead of regurgitating stories of old conquests.
While I understand the need for specifics and know that not all of you can be mind-readers (i.e., "How much of such-and-such ingredient would Corey add in this instance?" ;-) ), I really would prefer to just list ingredients as ratios to other ingredients. If it were up to me (hey, wait it is!), I would just be a very lazy recipe writer & not list anything at all. (I do have other things to do like, run a business, that is aside from my temporary, complementary cooking gig at my parents' house.) However, since I've gotten several requests for my recipes, (Sigh! The perils of popularity! ;-) ), I've decided to step up to the task of committing recipes to paper.
I've been pretty good about this aspect of recipe-writing so far (mostly because my blog has several recipes that AREN'T Corey-originals or are only spins on other people's recipes), but I can't promise to dutifully record exact amounts for my own recipes. It's more important that I get the basic ingredients down on paper, before I forget them. I usually worry about recording the specifics (amounts, specific instructions, etc.) later. So, if you're looking for that kind of detailed stuff, you might want to check back to see if I've revised any of my initial recipe posts. No, I'm mostly kidding here. ;-) I'll try not to leave you, loyal reader and recipe-enjoyer, too high & dry. For most people, a lot of ingredients and no instructions is generally a recipe for disaster (especially if you've never cooked before in your life!), but if you've got a knack for cooking it can be a fun and heady challenge. A good example of this would be, ah-hhh let's see, "Iron Chef" anyone? ;-)
So anal-retentive recipe-followers & novice cooks beware; proceed at your own peril: You might need a roadmap to the inside of my brain & a large shovel (to dig yourself out!) & before venturing further into my undiscovered continent of original recipes.
Now that you've been duly warned, here's my recipe for celery soup, which got rave-reviews from several family members:
Corey's Scrumptious Celery Soup
3 medium-sized shallots, diced
3-4 scallions (green onions), diced
1 T. butter
2 c. white wine (You don't need to use your best wine, but just don't use anything resembling ocean-liner sludge)
1 bunch/head celery, diced (use leaves & celery stalks)
dash of celery seed
3 large red potatos, peeled & roughly chopped
3-4 T. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2-4 c. soy milk
1 c. nonfat milk (or can substitute with 1/2 c. lite non-dairy creamer)
2 c. plain non-fat yoghurt
1 T. minced garlic
salt & pepper, to taste
few dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
few sprigs fresh basil, chopped or roughly torn
few sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped (Use only tender shoots & leaves)
7-10 leaves of fresh oregano
1 dollop nonfat or lowfat sour cream
Directions: Use common sense or pray. No, just kidding. I'll actually provide you with directions. ;-)
Peel & chop the potatoes & put aside in a large bowl. Dice the shallots & drop them into a big cooking pot. Then add the butter. Cook shallots on medium heat until soft. Devein top ridges of celery stalks (i.e., remove outer string-y stuff), & dice into approximately 1/2 inch cubes. (Is that exact enough for ya? ;-) ) Cook celery until soft. Add garlic & diced scallions (i.e., green onions). Stir ingredients constantly to make sure ingredients do not brown or burn. Deglaze pan with white wine. Turn down heat & simmer. Add all of your diced/chopped fresh spices, celery seed, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, & potatoes. Cook for about 20-30 minutes on medium heat, or until alcohol has most evaporated & veggies are soft but not mushy. Add water if necessary (i.e., if it's cooked down too much). When soup is done, add soy milk, milk (or creamer), yoghurt, & sour cream. Then ladle it out into a blender, a portion at a time, (make sure blender is only 3/4 full each time), & pulse until smooth. Put blended portions into a large tureen & add salt & pepper to taste.