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Posts Tagged ‘Bluestem the Cookbook’

By the Book: Colby and Megan Garrelt’s Celery Root Soup

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

booksmallWelcome to By the Book, a new weekly online column in which we try our hand at recipes from some of the many amazing cookbooks that come across our desks. We thumb through, pick a dish and then get cooking – revealing the recipe we chose and the results of our culinary journey. Scroll to the bottom of the post to find out how you can win a copy of the featured book and to see last week’s By the Book winner.

If you went to the Bluestem dinner held at Niche last Friday (For a glimpse at what was served, click here.), you know that husband-and-wife team Colby and Megan Garrelts, chefs and owners of Bluestem Restaurant in Kansas City, work in season. They use produce at its flavor peak, and they do their best to use locally sourced ingredients. This ethos is clearly reflected in the way the recipes are organized in the couple’s new book, Bluestem the Cookbook: according to season. There are five total chapters, four for the seasons with the last one – “Essentials” – including recipes for sauces, stocks and finishing agents like flavored butters and bread crumbs that are found dotted throughout recipes in the book.

Since the temperatures are hovering around the 30s these days, I decided to test out the Celery Root Soup from the winter section of the book. I love soup but I rarely make it, probably because I tend to think it doesn’t make me feel full. Not so with this bowl of goodness. It’s rich and, best of all, satisfying. Also, the recipe was quick from start to finish. All around, it was clear and easy to follow and, aside from simmering instructions (I let my soup simmer a little longer than the instructions.) and the use of white pepper, I followed the recipe and made a soup perfect for combatting the cold snap outside. One I’d happily make again, might I add.


Celery Root Soup
Serves 8 to 10 as an amuse-bouche, 4 to 6 as a first course

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
4 cups peeled and diced celery root
1 small onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1¼ cups dry white wine
1 bay leaf
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
2½ cups vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

We serve this comforting soup at the restaurant on occasion as an amuse-bouche. If you find the soup a bit thick for your taste, you can always thin it out with some extra vegetable stock.


Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the celery root, onion, and garlic and stir to sweat, about 5 minutes; you don’t want the vegetables to develop any color. Add the wine and bay leaf and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the mixture until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 10 minutes (Note: It took me about 20 minutes to get the wine to really reduce down that far.) Discard the bay leaf and add the cream, milk and 2 cups of the stock. Return the soup to a simmer and let it reduce and thicken, about 8 minutes. (Again, I let mine simmer a little longer, about 12 minutes.)


Carefully transfer the soup to a blender. With one towel-wrapped hand firmly held over the lid, blend the soup until it has completely liquefied. If the soup is too thick, thin it out, 1 tablespoon at a time, with the remaining ½ cup stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain the soup through a fine-mesh sieve.

For a chance to win one of two SIGNED copies of Bluestem, the Cookbook, tell us about your favorite winter soup to make at home in the comments section below.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Deanna whose comment on last week’s By the Book column has won her a free copy of Mourad: New Morroccan. Deanna, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew regarding your prize!

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