Thursday, March 10, 2011

Get Your Greens Falafel, Celery Root Soup

If you are like my husband and you think celery has no flavor, then you, along with him...ARE WRONG! (and have also never had my celery root soup :) ) Celery root is quite possibly the worst looking vegetable you can find in a normal grocery store but packs tons of flavor. I assumed celery stalks actually grew from the root, but I was mistaken. Stalks do grow from the root, but they are not edible. Just shave off the rough exterior to find an apple/potato like interior. I didn't add too many other flavors to this soup, because I really wanted the celery root to shine through. Instead I made some very flavorful garnishes you can choose to serve or not serve with the soup. I thought the seasoning I put on the apple chips would taste great on popcorn as well, so make a larger batch and keep in a sealed container.
This falafel recipe isn't your traditional chickpea formed patty, but instead made with green peas and edamame for a more mellow flavor with loads of protein and nutrients.

Velvety smooth celery root soup blended with celery stalks, coconut milk and leeks served with oven crisped spiced apple chips tossed in fennel, brown sugar and ginger and caramelized squash skewers. Green falafel loaded with peas, edamame, scallion, leeks, jalapenos and cilantro, pan fried until crisp.

Get Your Greens Falafel
6 patties
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup frozen edamame, thawed
2 leels, white and light green parts only, rough chop
2 scallions, both whites and greens, rough chop
1 jalapeno, seeded, rough chop
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
3 tbl extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
Canola oil for frying

Combine the peas, edamame, scallions, jalapeno and garlic in a food processor. Blend until very smooth. Add the cilantro, oil, salt and pepper to taste and dried coriander. Process until combined and smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add stir in the flour. Form into 6 small patties.
Heat a 1/2" layer of oil in a large saute pan and saute the falafel on each side until golden brown, about 5 minutes a side.

Celery Root Soup
1 large celery root, peeled, 1" dice
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 tbl earth balance vegan butter
1 celery stalks, small dice
1 leek, white & pale green parts only, small dice
2 cups water, divided
1/2 cup coconut milk
salt and white pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water and the diced celery root to a boil. Boil until fork tender and drain.
Heat the oil and butter in a soup pot and sweat the celery stalks, leeks, salt and pepper to taste until soft, 7 minutes. Add the celery root and 2 cups of water and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender, add the coconut milk and blend until smooth. Bring back to the heat and taste to season.

Apple Chips & Squash Skewers
canola spray
1 fuji apple, very thinly sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/8 tsp whole black peppercorns
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
pinch salt
1 tbl lemon juice
2 tbl organic light brown sugar

1 tbl canola oil
1 cup 1/2" butternut squash cubes
1 tbl maple syrup
pinch black pepper
pinch salt
black sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat the oven to 225. Line a baking sheet with parchment and grease with cooking spray.
In a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, crush the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, fennel seeds, black pepper, red pepper flakes and salt into a fine powder. Combine the apples in a bowl, sprinkle with lemon juice and all of the spice rub. Coat both sides and lay each apple slice down on the baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, flipping once after 30 minutes. When the apple chips are done, peel them off the baking sheet RIGHT out of the oven, while they are still hot and drop on a dry counter top to cool. This will crisp them up immediately.

Preheat 1 tbl of canola oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the butternut squash and caramelize all 4 sides of each cube until cooked through but not falling apart. Season with salt and pepper. Add the maple syrup and cook 3 minutes more. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds.

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