Archive for the ‘Celeriac’ Tag

Top 10 Vegetables   1 comment

VegetablesIt was another creation from Velda’s kitchen … and it got me thinking. What are my favorite vegetables?

Mind you, not a conversation with self that I would have had 30 years ago. But what is age if you can’t enjoy a bit of perspective?

So what are my favorite vegetables? 30 years ago, the answer would have been easy: green beans. Today, it’s a little murkier. Still, here are my Top 10 Favorite Vegetables, in classic Top 10 style:

Number 10: Black Beans. I’m pretty sure I’d never even seen a black bean until I moved to California. No matter; they are infinitely better than pinto beans, and will always be my choice at every Mexican restaurant that gives me a choice.

Number 9: Lima Beans. This forlorn vegetable would have probably been ranked more favorably … but Velda hates them. She will condescend to make me lima beans about once every 6 months … and that means she doesn’t really put much creativity into the presentation. I really like lima beans, but Velda cooks so many other vegetables so much better, I have no choice but to rank them poorly. Yes, it’s her fault.

Salt & pepper to taste. Sprinkle with finely minced fresh parsley, if desired.

Salt & pepper to taste. Sprinkle with finely minced fresh parsley, if desired.

Number 8: Carrots. If you haven’t tasted her wonderful Honey Glazed Carrots, then you don’t know carrots. Try them; they will rock your world.

Number 7: Brussel Sprouts. This is actually the much-maligned vegetable that got me to thinking this evening. The recommended recipe is MrsMowry’s Brussel Sprouts. Get them fresh – not bitter – and these will do you right.

Number 6: Green Beans. No vegetable dish from Velda’s kitchen has drawn as much ire from the children as Green Bean Casserole: the only demanded vegetable on the holiday table. The kids went into open rebellion when Velda began to mess with the recipe. I really thought we’d have a violent incident the year she substituted fresh green beans for Del Monte. That was simply not acceptable. Don’t mess with the recipe: French’s Green Bean Casserole.

Number 5: Tomatoes. OK, OK. Tomatoes are a fruit. I don’t care. They are a garden vegetable, and there is nothing like flavorful, fresh tomatoes on burgers. Or with cottage cheese. Or on a salad. Tomatoes. Love’em.

Number 4: Chocolate. The kids were taught that chocolate was a vegetable by Aunt Sis, and that makes as much sense as the vegetable machinations performed by your local school system. If they can say that ketchup is a vegetable, then this makes sense. Chocolate should be a part of a balanced diet. ’nuff said.

Green Bean 51Number 3: Green Beans. When not in a casserole, green beans should be sautèed and served with onions and bacon. Here’s the recipe: Velda’s Green Beans. You can thank me later.

Number 2: Spaghetti Squash. This must be the dark horse candidate, as this vegetable has never been mentioned in the blog before. However, its a wonderful addition to just about any meal. If only Velda served Spaghetti Squash more often, I might be able to photograph the process and share a recipe. You can only hope (with me) that I can do this some day.

Mushroom 34Number 1: Mushrooms. This a no brainer. I’ve written about my favorite morels, in Hunting Mushrooms With Grandpa. And then, of course, there was Wild Mushroom Cobbler. Don’t deprive yourself: get you some ‘shrooms. Swiss & mushrooms are now a part of my favorite burger. Stuffed mushrooms are my favorite appetizer (and ask Velda to make them again, please, for Superbowl Sunday … and I’ll blog the recipe!).

What’s missing from my Top 10? Onions & garlic. Though they’re a part of just about every good meal … I simply could not include them in this list. In my eyes, they are flavors. Spices. Not a vegetable to be requested as a side dish.

This is a wonderful soup, but the presentation makes it better!

This is a wonderful soup, but the presentation makes it better!

I probably should have included celeriac. However, since I’m in America where no one knows what the heck that is, it’s out. Americans don’t know celeriac … unless they’ve had this wonderful recipe: Velda’s Celery Root Soup. If you think it’s time for soup … make this soup. And thank me later.

MrsMowry will probably hit me in the face when she sees me next, as I’ve left potatoes off the list. Sorry, m’lady. Mashed potatoes are fabulous. Your potato pizza is the bomb. But … not a Top 10 item. Make me some and change my mind. Please.

If I missed your favorite, PLEASE add your Top 10 list below. I really want to see if any of my dear readers can find a place on their list for kale. Or okra. Or beets. Or asparagus. Or turnips. Or peppers. Or pumpkin.

So, what’s your list???

More Thomas Jefferson’s Favorite Vegetables A Dietician’s Favorite Vegetables Everyone’s Six Least Favorite Vegetables Top 10 Grilled Vegetable Recipes Most Of Our Favorite Vegetables Are Not Vegetables Favorite Recipes For Thanksgiving’s Top Twelve Favorite Vegetables

Posted January 22, 2014 by henrymowry in Living Life

Tagged with , , ,

Velda’s Celery Root Soup   4 comments

This is a wonderful soup, but the presentation makes it better!

This is a wonderful soup, but the presentation makes it better!

One of the few good things that came from my recent work trips to Chicago was a discovery of what has become my favorite, favorite soup.  Wikipedia tells me that the common name is incorrect:  Celery Root Soup is properly called Celeriac Soup.

Celery RootCome to find out, the main ingredient isn’t really celery, it’s a cousin of celery called celeriac.  It’s commonly grown in Europe and Africa … and you should find some at your well-stocked local grocery.

I asked Velda to re-create what I found at the South Water Kitchen in Chicago, and she’s improved upon my memory.  This is a wonderful soup.

Velda commented that the immersion blender that she bought when she began making  this soup was the best kitchen tool she’s purchased.  And, BELIEVE ME, her cupboards are stuffed with kitchen gadgets.  If she says her immersion blender is a good tool, I’d pay attention.


  • 1 large celery root, peeled & cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 of an onion, minced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 t Thyme
  • 1 t salt to taste
  • 1/2 t fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup sherry or Madeira
  • optional: 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Olive oil, truffle oil, grated Parmesan and Durkee french fried onions


Saute onion, shallot and garlic over medium heat in olive oil until soft but not brown.  Add celery root and celery.  Add 1/2 cup sherry or Madeira.  Cover with broth, simmer 20 minutes until tender.

Add thyme, salt & pepper to taste. Puree using a stick blender or food processor.  Add milk, cream and butter.  Continue to puree until smooth. Add more milk to get to desired consistency.

Top with drizzled olive oil, a few drops of truffle oil, grated Parmesan and Durkee french fried onions.

A sliced celeriac with the shoots removed.

A sliced celeriac with the shoots removed.

%d bloggers like this: