Celery Root and Red Lentil Soup

It took a while for the chill to reach LA, but ever since it has it's been at full force. The knitted sweaters are unboxed, the jackets are hung close, and the sniffles have begun. It's the perfect time for soup. There are little things as comforting as wrapping your hands around a steaming bowl of soup. The smell and warmth are as soothing as the contents of the bowl, a welcomed respite at the end of the day. I've made many kinds of soups thus far: french lentil soup, bean soup, and butternut squash soup. I also tried this celery root and red lentil soup. I actually first made this a while ago, when I first received the


cookbook by

Todd Porter and Diane Cu

. This cookbook is a visual masterpiece, beautiful in it's photography and design. I love the way it feels like a cross between a cookbook and a coffee table book. But what I love best is the focus on produce. True to its name, the book abounds with recipes using fresh fruits and vegetables like tangerines, kumquats, tomatoes, zucchini and squash. The chapters are even divided by types of produce from citrus to squash to root and cruciferous vegetables. You almost feel like you're picking and exploring the authors' garden right along as they cook with their bounty.

Over the past year that I've had this book, I've turned to it many times, sometimes for inspiration, sometimes for specific recipes. I have yet to try the

yuzu kosho

, if I can ever find a yuzu that is. It's a japanese citrus fruit similar to a lemon that gets combined with chile peppers and salt, a very attractive combination since I love spicy foods so much. I also want to try the

pizza with rosemary potatoes

, as well as the

strawberry scones


tangerine creme brulee

. There is also the

sweet onion crack dip

which apparently is quite the indulgence.

But let's get back to this soup. It has the perfect texture and flavor from the celery root, and it comes together so simply and quickly. The red lentils cook fast so you can be with your soup in hand in no time. The ingredient list is short, and yet the natural flavors shine through. That's the beauty here, the recipe relies on a short list of ingredients to create something remarkable. And that's the beauty of


, it perfectly highlights fresh fruits and vegetables. Now if only I could gain access to their garden.

 celery root and red lentil soup

1 medium celery root

1 medium onion, minced

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 (2-inch) knob of fresh ginger, peeled and crushed

2-3 sage leaves

1/4 cup red lentils

sea salt

Cut the celery root into bite-sized pieces. Heat a medium pot over medium heat, add the onion, garlic, ginger, and sage leaves. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

Add 4 cups water and the celery root, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the celery root is almost tender. Add the lentils and cook until they are soft and the celery root is cooked through. Taste for seasoning and add salt if necessary. Serve hot.

Note: the original recipe included bacon, but I omitted it since it's not kosher. There is kosher beef and lamb bacon available but I haven't tried it.

 *thank you to the publisher for providing a copy of the cookbook for review