Vichyssoise with Celery Root and Watercress

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This refreshing soup is delicious, easy to make and can be a prelude to the most sophisticated meal. More nutritious than traditional vichyssoise, its pleasing nutty flavor is enhanced with a garnish of chopped toasted walnuts, which also adds valuable nutrients. In the summer, I aim to have leftovers in the refrigerator and treat myself to a small bowl for a yummy afternoon snack.

Vichyssoise with Celery Root and Watercress
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. Large (approx. 5 quart) slow cooker is required
  2. Food processor or blender is required
  3. 1 tbsp olive oil 15 mL
  4. 3 leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and coarsely chopped
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1⁄2 tsp cracked black peppercorns 2 mL
  7. 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock 1.5 L
  8. 1 large celery root peels and sliced (about 1 lb/500 g)
  9. 2 bunches watercress, tough parts of the stems removed (each about 4 oz/125 g)
  10. Sea salt, optional
  11. 1⁄2 cup heavy or whipping (35%) cream or soy milk 125 mL
  12. 1⁄2 cup toasted chopped walnuts 125 mL
  13. Watercress sprigs, optional
Instructions
  1. 1. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add stock and stir well.
  2. 2. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Stir in celery root. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours, until celery root is tender. Stir in watercress until wilted.
  3. 3. Working in batches, purée mixture in a food processor or blender. (You can also do this in the stoneware using an immersion blender. Season to taste with salt, if using. Stir in cream and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 4 hours. To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with toasted walnuts and watercress sprigs, if using.
Notes
  1. Tips
  2. If you are halving this recipe, be sure to use a small (approx. 2 quart) slow cooker.
  3. Since celery root oxidizes quickly on contact with air, be sure to use as soon as you have peeled and chopped it, or toss with 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice to prevent discolouration.
  4. To cool the soup more quickly, transfer it to a large bowl before refrigerating.
Judith Finlayson http://judithfinlayson.com/
Posted in Gluten-Free, Recipes, Soups, Vegetarian & Vegan.

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