Saturday, 13 August 2011

Rainy Summer Days

 When I think of summer time, I usually think of sunny days, barbecues, and swimming pools.  I think of the childhood summer feeling when you're free from school and feel like the warm weather can never end.  Not all summer days are sunny though.  In fact, I love a good thunderstorm, and even in the summer (especially here) you can get cooler rainy days.  After a good day of rain the air just smells cleaner and everything looks a bit brighter and greener again.

Shopping on a recent rainy day, I found some celeriac (also known as celery root) reduced down to just a few pence.  Not sure what I was going to do with it, I bought it and brought it home.  Watching the rain trickle down the windows, it felt like a soup kind of a day.  So here's my celeriac soup for a rainy summer day.

Celeriac Soup Recipe

1. Put a knob of butter and dash of olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat.

2. Chop and add a shallot (you can substitute any variety of onion if you don't have shallot, or omit completely).  Let it start to sweat.

3. Chop and add one celeriac (I peeled it first).  Add any other root vegetables you want to include as well (I added several peeled and chopped potatoes and a couple carrots).

4. Stirring regularly, let the vegetables cook and soften.  If they get dry, start adding a little stock (I used vegetable stock, but you could use chicken stock).

5. When the vegetables are getting soft, puree them (I used a hand blender and did it with them in the pan).  Then add the rest of the stock (about 2 pints, but you can add more or less depending on how thick you want your soup). 

6. Season to taste with salt and pepper (best with roughly ground black pepper and sea salt).

7. Serve and enjoy.  If desired, finish off by adding a little creme fraiche or yogurt (or cream if you feel indulgent).

We ate the soup with home-made croutons.  They are delicious and so easy to make.

Rosemary Croutons

1. Preheat oven to about 400F/200C. 

2. Roughly chop up a loaf (not pre-sliced) of bread into cubes.  I used a home-made loaf of bread (it was a mixture of white and wholemeal flour with added poppy seeds).

3. Put the bread and some sprigs of rosemary in a large pan.  Coat lightly with olive oil.

4. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and black pepper.

5. Bake for about 20 minutes.  They should be crispy and light.

6. Serve with soup or salad.  Or just eat them.  These turned out to be so delicious that my daughter Anya stole the bag of leftover croutons from the kitchen.  She carried them around with her as her new favorite snack, and absolutely refused to let anyone else taste one.  It took all of our parenting skills to convince her that she could not bring the bag of croutons to bed with her.

Recently I discovered two new blogs thanks to Secret Post Club.  I love taking part in this gift swap.  First off, it's always nice to get a surprise present.  It's also kind of fun to be exposed to new blogs, make cyber friends, and snoop around people's blogs to try to figure out what the perfect gift would be for them that month.

Thank you to Living Abroad for the cute baby clothes.  Preston's already gotten lots of wear out of them and they are a perfect fit.  I like the mix of book reviews, pictures, and family tidbits in your blog. 

I got to play elf for 'Cross the Pond.  As you can see, I sent off a chocolate recipe book and some chocolate molds (because who doesn't like chocolate).  I also included a cd mix.  I'd put the mix together when in the kitchen, and called it Baking on a Rainy Day.  If you want to know my rainy day playlist (and hopefully hers now too), here it is:

1. Fixing Her Hair, Ani DiFranco
2. Lady on the Water, Blitzen Trapper
3. You Still Hurt Me, William Fitzsimmons
4. Broken Telephone, The Be Good Tanyas
5. Bracket WI, Bon Iver
6. What Are We Gonna Do, Brenda Weiler
7. Such Great Heights, Iron & Wine
8. The Luckiest, Ben Folds
9. Beach Baby, Bon Iver
10. Original Sinsuality, Tori Amos
11. Judas, Antje Duvekot
12. Just Not Each Other, William Fitzsimmons
13. The Awakening, Jennifer Nettles Band
14. Dilate, Ani DiFranco
15. Pearls, Antje Duvekot
16. Human Thing, The Be Good Tanyas
17. Decide, April Messervy
18. Wish for the Sun, Brenda Weiler
19. Come Away With Me, Norah Jones
20. Lit Elephants, Madeline

1 comment:

  1. Hi Keri!
    Thank you so much for making me the Eiffel tower apron for secret post club, i love it! I baked macarons this afternoon and they actually turned out edible for the first time (4th attempt!) I'm sure the apron brought me luck!
    Max x