White Root and Pear Soup (Zuppa di Radici Bianche e Pera)

This soup is all about fall.  Right now, I am all about fall so this soup makes me happy.  I just spent the weekend in upstate New York among friends and we did all the quintessential fall stuff: apple picking, walks through the fall foliage, sitting by a wood-burning stove and making apple pie.  Fun as it was, by Sunday I was ready again for balance.  That means meals that are nutrient dense with low oil, light protein and complex carbs.  That does not mean, however, no yum.  Luckily when I came home I had some good produce in my fridge that came together really nicely.

The celeriac, turnips and pears are low starch, but have enough to make the soup creamy when blended.  I used light homemade chicken broth- just some chicken bones, celery leaves, garlic, onion and thyme.  If you use vegetable broth, make sure to use one that doesn’t have tomato added to it, not only because of its flavor, but because of its color as well.  I added tomatillos because they become citrusy when cooked, which meant I wouldn’t need to add lemon.  However, if you can’t get your hands on tomatillos, a little lemon juice at the end should be perfect.  I used two Seckel pears, which are small green and red pears that become very sweet and soft when fully ripe.  If you can’t find Seckel pears, Comice is a good substitute.  Fully ripe pears are key for flavor, as well as for lending texture to the soup.

White Root and Pear Soup (M) - The Clean Gourmet

A note on nutrition: It’s important to eat a variety of colors for optimal nutrition.  White is part of that nutritional “rainbow”.  There are nutrients in white produce, such as quercitin in pears, vitamin C and calcium in turnips, vitamin B-6 and magnesium in celeriac, not to mention plenty of fiber.  I could go on.  Basically, you should eat all the colors, including white (I know…white is not a color, but you get what I mean).

Everything in this soup is seasonal and can be purchased at your farmer’s market (at least here in the Northeast).  If you use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, this soup is very vegan friendly.

Serves 3-4

What you need:

1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil (can sub half with grass-fed butter)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks

1 medium head celeriac (5-6 inches in diameter), peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes

4 medium turnips, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes

5 cups chicken stock or light vegetable broth

1/4 head green cabbage, light inner leaves, cut into 1 inch chunks

3 tomatillos*, quartered

2 Seckel or 1 Comice pear, well-ripened, cut into 1/2 inch chunks (reserve half for serving)

3 sprigs thyme

To serve:

5 leaves sage, very finely chopped

freshly ground black pepper

eggs, medium boiled (1 per person)

100% rye bread slices, toasted

grass-fed butter, for bread (optional)

What to do:

Sweat garlic and shallot in oil with salt over medium heat in a medium/large pot or dutch oven.  Stir frequently and cook until soft but not brown (lower heat if any browning begins to occur), about 3 minutes.

Add the celery, celeriac and turnips.  Sauté 4-5 minutes to soften the celery and the root vegetables.  Add some water (or white wine, if you have it!) if any browning or sticking begins to occur.

Add stock, cabbage, tomatillos, half the pear and thyme sprigs.  Cover, bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove thyme sprigs and transfer soup to blender.  Start on LOW speed, then gradually raise to high speed and let run until very smooth.  (Thirty seconds with a Vitamix or high-speed blender, about a minute with a regular blender.)  Transfer soup back to the pot and re-warm over low heat while you prep to serve.  Adjust for salt (*and add lemon juice if you didn’t use tomatillos).

Ladle soup into bowls, top with remaining pear chunks, black pepper and a sprinkling of minced sage.  Serve with rye bread and a light smear of grass-fed butter for omega-3s and drop in a medium-boiled egg for protein, aminos and more omega-3 if you’re not vegan.

Leftovers: This soup will last about three days in the refrigerator, but it will thicken.  Reconstitute with a little water and reheat over medium-low flame, stirring frequently.

White Root and Pear Soup (M) - The Clean Gourmet

Zuppa di Radici Bianche e Pera:

3-4 porzioni

Ingredienti:

1 cucchiaio di olio d’oliva (potete sostituire metà col burro)

1/2 cucchiaino di sale marino, più altro a piacere

2 spicchi d’aglio, tritati

1 scalogno, tritato

1 gambo di sedano, tagliato a pezzi

1 sedano rapa media, pelato e tagliato a cubetti

4 rape medie, pelate e tagliate a cubetti

1,25 litri di brodo di pollo o di verdura leggero (sennò usate dell’acqua)

1/4 del cespo d’un cavolo verde

3 tomatillo, tagliati a quarti (*oppure del succo di limone fresco)

2 pere Seckel oppure 1 pera Comice, tagliate a cubetti (tenete da parte metà dei cubetti)

3 ramoscelli di timo

Per servire:

5 foglie di salvia, tritate

pepe nero

uova sode (uno a testa)

fette di pane integrale di segale (100%), tostate

burro grass-fed, per il pane (secondo la vostra dieta)

Cosa fare:

Saltare in una pentola media/grande l’aglio e lo scalogno nell’olio col sale su fiamma media.  Agitate frequentemente e fate cuocere finché non siano teneri (attenti a non far rosolare), circa tre minuti.

Aggiungete il sedano, il sedano rapa e le rape.  Fateli cuocere altri 4-5 minuti per far ammorbidire le verdure.  Aggiungete un pò d’acqua (o di vino bianco, se ne avete!) se comincino ad attaccare al fondo della pentola.

Aggiungete il brodo, il cavolo, i tomatillo, metà della pera tagliata ed i ramoscelli di timo.  Coprite, fate bollire, poi abbassate il fuoco e lasciate sobbollire finché la verdura non sia morbida, circa 15 minuti.

Togliete il timo e trasferite la minestra al frullatore.  Fatelo andare prima a velocità bassa, alzandola pianamente a velocità alta.  Fatelo andare finché la zuppa non sia liscissima.  (Circa 30 secondi col frullatore potente, 1 minuto col frullatore normale.)  Trasferite la zuppa alla pentola e riscaldatela a fuoco basso mentre preparate per servire.  Aggiustate il sale (*e aggiungete del succo di limone se non avete usato del tomatillo).

Servite la zuppa e guarnite con la pera rimasta, del pepe nero e la salvia tritata.  Se non siete vegani, spalmate le fette di pane col burro grass-fed per omega-3 e aggiungeteci un uovo sodo per proteine, aminoacidi ed altre omega-3.

Per le rimaste:  Questa zuppa dura circa tre giorni in frigo, ma s’addensa.  Ricostituitela con un pò d’acqua e riscaldatela sul fuoco medio-basso, agitando frequentemente.

White Root and Pear Soup - The Clean Gourmet

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