Friday, November 27, 2009

Tips from a friend and Deep, Down, Underground Root Cellar Soup

I adore Thanksgiving. Is there anything better than stopping to reflect on the good things of life and center the holiday festivities on food. Hopefully yours featured lots of the good things of the earth as well as some tasty pie. I always love it when mine does; thanksgiving I am thankful for you and pie. God. The good earth and everything else with it.

This Thanksgiving we met up with our good friends from college at his parents house in North Carolina as it was in between us both. It is good to be together and even better to be with a friend that shares your interests and really gets you. I am thankful for my good friend Anna. She is witty, full of common sense and loves food the same way I do. She has also better transitioning her family to better eating, trying to get closer to the word of wisdom's proscriptions. And she does it well. So today I asked her for some of her tips on how she does it.

Her are her four best guidelines to guide your family food plan:

1.Eat Meals Together. Adjust your life and schedule to have meals together. Place the necessary importance on it. Create an environment for togetherness- make that your first emphasis, and food is a great reason to be together.

2. Cook. Once you eat together you will want to be making the kind of food that you want to eat together. Make it worth it, a real meal you have planned, not just "what are we going to eat tonight". So really learn how to cook and cook as many meals as you can. (Anna often cooks breakfast as well as dinner each day.)

3. Be Consistent. Your kids will eat what you eat, so be good. Other adults in your home make take more time to come around, but kids are quicker and pick up on your lead.

4. Whole Foods First. Don't focus on just less meat to better live the word of wisdom, Rather focus on whole, unprocessed foods first and your diet will become more attuned to legumes, grains and produce and the meat will start to become less important without feeling like you are depriving yourself at all.

The only mistake I made with Thanksgiving this year was not getting here soon enough- I missed Anna's cooking on Wednesday night. Celery Root Soup and Roasted Green Beans. I hear it was stellar. And now I need to go home and make it for myself. And now, you can too.

And yes, you could leave off the bacon garnish- but we both voted that a bacon garnish was certainly using meat sparingly and a lovely reward for your family trying celery root.

Deep, Down, Underground Root Cellar Soup
(Celery Root and Potato Soup)
Emeril Lagasse

  • 3 slices thick-cut apple smoked bacon, diced
  • 1 leek, white part only, diced
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced parsnip
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 5 cups peeled, diced celery root (from a root about 1 1/2 pounds in weight)
  • 1 large baking potato, peeled and cubed
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives


Set a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until crispy and fat is rendered, about 4 minutes. Remove the bacon using a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels to drain. Remove 1 tablespoon of the rendered bacon fat and set aside for another purpose. Add the leek, onions, parsnips and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and saute until fragrant, 45 to 60 seconds. Add the celery root, potato, stock, salt, pepper, and rosemary to the saucepan and bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the celery root is very tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

When the celery root is tender, remove the saucepan from the heat and puree the soup using an immersion blender (or in batches using a bar blender), until smooth. Stir in the heavy cream and cider vinegar. Finely chop the reserved crispy bacon. Taste, and re-season the soup if necessary and serve, garnished with the crispy bacon and snipped chives.


  1. Wow. Thank you for your post. You are just stellar Sandra. And so are you anna! It sounds like I a lovely time. I love your family food plan tips. I thank you for the reminder to cook breakfast as well as dinner. I have felt that our breakfasts have been too rushed lately. I also need to plan better.

    Thank you again. This was a lovely post. I am grateful for your friendship this Thanksgiving Sandra! So happy that we were put together on the activities committee. Let's get together again soon.

  2. Love the tips from Anna. Thank you.


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