I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.


Gluten and lactose are not my friends.


Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.


I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

July 17, 2014

Truffled Celariac Soup




One of my personal joys in Winter is the availability of all the wonderfully seasonal Root Vegetables


Parsnips, turnips and swedes are all lovely, but one of my absolute favourites of all is the Celariac. A Celariac is a big, ugly, hairy ball that really doesn't look very appetising, but don't be put off by it's ugly exterior, this humble veggie is a surprise package indeed!

Sweet, mild, nutty and earthy- a delicate flavour, but one that stands up well next to strong dishes like roast beef, steak or even with blue cheese. Whether raw in a traditional French remoulade, or soaked and pureed as I've done today, this undistinguished little veggie should definitely not be underestimated



I often find that Celariac are sold per item not by weight, and as the price at the start of the season hovers around $8 each, I try and find the biggest one on the stand. I was picking through the display trying to find a nice one, when right on top I spied a beauty the size of an rockmelon! I'm only 5'1, and my arms don't reach too far, so I had a dilemma. Now, I admit, I'm not too proud to look silly in in pursuit of culinary joy- don't judge me- and I was determined that baby was going to be mine.

I tried standing on tiptoes- no good. I tried jumping- no good. I then tried strategically removing lower celariacs, hoping to cause an avalanche of sorts with my prize carried to me triumphantly on the crest of the wave- nope, just a few falling on the floor that I had to pick up. Finally I spotted a storeman who was luckily much taller than I and could pluck my celariac from the peak and into my arms- Yes!
Ignoring the stares of slightly bemused shoppers, I bore my behemoth 2 kilo celariac away while dreaming about what it would become in my kitchen....mmmmmm....



Now I do apologise Dear Readers, I seem to be missing some of my usual step-by-step photos somehow, but as this dish is really just so simple I don't think it will be a problem today


Truffled Celariac Soup

Celariac
lactose free Milk or Cream
Truffle- if lucky enough to have some on hand
Truffle Oil
Salt- preferably yummy truffle infused
Lemon


Cut your lemon in half and squeeze into a bowl of water

Peel your celariac quickly, and pop each piece as you go into the acidulated water to stop it oxidising and going a yucky brown colour




I always prefer to steam the celariac as I find that boiling really makes it soggy and dilutes the delicate flavour. As this is to be pureed, steam until it's very tender indeed so it will break down well




See how dry this is, not soggy at all




Blend the celariac with the milk or cream to a silky smooth puree




See how gorgeous- not a lump in sight!




At this stage the puree can be used in so many wonderful ways...
Folded through mashed potatoes for a nice change, perfect under seared scallops to match the sweetness, or even a bit of crumbled blue cheese folded through would make it a great side for roast beef




Winter time is Truffle time here in Canberra, and we are lucky enough to have fresh truffles available at the markets for a few weeks- sublime! As the season is rather short lived though, and for those unable to get such goodies, there are a lot of truffle products on the market so you can get your truffley fix. One of my favourites is Truffle Salt, the flavour really permeates through so when it dissolves into the food the flavour is carried subtly through as well




Another goodie is this Truffle Oil- rich and earthy, not artificial tasting like some on the market either




Heat the puree through gently without boiling, adding just enough milk/cream to bring it to your desired consistency. Season well with the truffled salt, then drizzle generously with the truffle oil- just because you can :)




A final flourish of truffle or truffle salt on top, and TaaDaa! I know truffles are pretty special, but who would have guessed that under the ugly exterior the Celariac hid such a tasty, luxurious interior?
This dish is a great starter to a dinner party, or just serve for your own weekday lunch as I did- just because you can :)



So Dear Readers, what are your favourite root veggies, and are you willing to make of a fool of yourself for Culinary Joy?





 

24 comments:

  1. Mmmh this soup looks delicious! I never thought about steaming celeriac I must say! Parsnips are my favourite root veggies along with sweet potatoes as both are sweet :) Culinary Joy or not, I'm always willing to make a fool of myself :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do love parsnips too Olivia, and the girls favourite is sweet potato baked with a sprinkle of cinnamon- yummo! Sadly enough I often make a fool of myself whether I mean to or not :)

      Delete
  2. Bec, I laughed when I read this, at five feet two and shrinking, I know what it's like. This is delicious, yum! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liz, I keep thinking of my grandmother who had to be nearly half a foot shorter by the time she passed away. I just think I might need to wear high heels every day :)

      Delete
  3. I can well imagine how perfectly the truffle goes with the celeriac. I shall have to try some but just with the oil. I don't mind ever making a fool of myself for food ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did Tandy! I don't need food as an excuse to make a fool of myself... sadly... :)

      Delete
  4. Hehe you are hilarious! And as I'm a similar height to you I know what you mean. And I've been known to buy cauliflower bigger than me at times (well not quite but you know what I mean hopefully :)).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe that's why we married such talk husbands Lorraine! :) Bigger is always better when it comes to yumminess, and I definitely know what you mean- and the joy of finding them too! Xox

      Delete
  5. I'm startled that there's someone not taller than me (5'2.5").

    I love parsnips & jerusalem artichokes but they're much less common

    ReplyDelete
  6. I can only dream of being that tall Ista, you lucky thing :) Jerusalem artichokes are delicious and I had a great harvest of them this year from my garden. So tasty indeed!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Would it make you feel better to know you're taller than I am? :) I look up to everyone.

    Your soup does sound delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear, Maureen- I do hope you crack the 5 foot mark? :) Is it too warm for hearty soup up in sunny Queensland? X

      Delete
  8. we must be twins:) I am just about half a centimetre taller than you by the sound of it. and it drives me crazy that i can't reach things Hubby bought me a stool for the pantry so i can reach the top shelf. i have never had celeriac; this dish looks amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've got a little step ladder that helps me out Sherry, but the world is certainly geared towards taller people, isn't it :) I hope you find some celariac and give it a try- it really is a very yummy veggie :)

      Delete
  9. Bec, are you shrinking? I swear you were taller than 5'1.
    I know its lame, but I adore potato, plain ol tatters. :) And yes, absolutely yes to making a fool of myself. Just moments ago I discoverd pumpkin is classified as a fruit.... 'A pumpkin is not a vegetable; it's a fruit! In fact, it's a berry.' Mind blown, and my colleagues cant stop laughing. Im a chef!!! Prob should have known that.... LOL! :)
    Great recipe, fan of the truffle celeriac combo. Happy Friday lovely one. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly not Anna :( I was one of the tallest girls in my year 7 class, but that must be when I stopped! I thought anything that had seeds inside ws basically a fruit? But then, a banana is technically a herb :)

      Delete
  10. Smooth! Love the texture and colour :)

    Julie
    Gourmet Getaways

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Julie! So perfectly smooth and yummy :)

      Delete
  11. How beautiful does this look? Adore celeriac, though I never use it myself, rather getting my dose from mum who's obsessed! I am nutty about parsnip at the moment. OBSESSED! But sweet potato is such a favourite too... x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Heidi! I totally adore parsnips too,but the rest of the family aren't fans- I'm sure they must all be adopted! The girls are nutty for sweet potato though, preferably baked in the skin then served with sour cream and cinnamon- yummo!

      Delete
  12. How I love celeriac it is my favourite. This looks so smooth and silky and definately decadent with those little added extras

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's all about accessorising isn't it Tania! It's definitly a favourite for me too- yummo! xox

      Delete
  13. How I love celeriac it is my favourite. This looks so smooth and silky and definately decadent with those little added extras

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's all about accessorising isn't it Tania! It's definitly a favourite for me too- yummo! xox

      Delete