On our way to the pumpkin patch, we stopped at the Mt. Vernon farmers market. Someday, my kids will get me a "I Brake for Farmers Markets!" bumper sticker. It was still foggy, the market was just waking up, and a string trio played bluegrass renditions of old hymns. Really puts you in the mood for buying celery and leeks, which is just what we did.
And this was some SERIOUS celery, the likes of which I have never seen before. Almost 2' long, bright green--when I got it home, I filled a whole salad spinner with the leaves. I treated them like I would a fresh herb or lettuce--washed and spun dry, then laid out on a length of paper towels which I rolled up and slipped into a Ziploc. I used them in a salad tonight and am planning a celery and celery leaf stir-fry with curry and coconut milk. I know--this is a sickness I have.
Sunday afternoon soup while the house was napping: a knob of butter in the Dutch oven, then onions, garlic, leeks, bits of celery, some parmesan rind. Add celery leaves, fresh lemon thyme (God bless that little nubbin of a plant on my deck), salt, a squeeze of lemon. Hunks of fingerling potatoes, a bargain at $1/pound because they were unwashed. With a bit (okay--a little more than a bit) of cream at the end, we'll have a ready dinner for the next three nights.
P.S. Wyatt and Loretta inhaled these golden fall raspberries. They were so happy that they posed for me without protest. When I come across this photo ten years from now, I know I'll miss these years. I might even miss this particular fall morning, on the Skagit River with a stroller full of celery.
P.S.S. Dearest Emily gave me an immersion blender! I guess she was sick of all my thinly-veiled hints. We went out for lunch last week, and she lugged a wrapped immersion blender and a bunch of other treats in her bag, and I didn't notice the whole 10 blocks we walked. I was too busy talking her ear off. So I knew some sort of pureed soup was in order this week.
Three Onion Potato Soup
The three "onions" here are all in the alium family--yellow onions, garlic, and leeks. It fulfills my need to creatively name recipes. Celery is a big player here, too. If you don't have celery leaves (store-bought bunches are usually pretty bald), you can sub a teaspoon of celery seeds. And you probably don't have some parmesan rinds in your fridge--that's alright. You can leave them out or throw a handful of grated parmesan in. I loved the fingerlings in here--their waxy texture helps them keep their shape. You can use any kind of potato, though.
4 Tb. butter
2 Tb. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
3 leeks, white and pale green parts only, finely diced and washed well
3 cloves garlic, minced
freshly ground pepper
Parmesan rind (if you have them lying around like me)
2 stalks celery, finely diced
2 Tb. fresh thyme, finely chopped
1/4 c. finely chopped celery leaves
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 lb. fingerling potatoes, quartered if they're biggish, halved if they're small, left whole if they're tiny
3/4 c. cream
Heat butter and olive oil in a large, heavy stockpot. Add onion, leeks, garlic, and salt, and pepper, and saute until soft, about 10 minutes.
Add Parmesan rind, celery, thyme, and celery leaves and saute for about 10 minutes more. Add lemon juice, potatoes, and cover the whole thing with enough water so there's about 1/2" inch of water above the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove about 1/4 of the soup and puree in a blender or food processor and return to the pot. (Or use your new immersion blender!) Add cream, bring to a simmer again, and simmer until thickened a bit more, about 10 more minutes.
Serve garnished with grated parmesan and finely chopped celery leaves, if you like.