Friday, October 4, 2013

Celeriac and Potato Soup

If you follow me on instagram you may have noticed some pictures from the train station in Rome.  That's where I end up at least 2 times a day, going and coming from work.  Needless to say, it's the coming from work the part of the day I take that train most willingly. Just to give you an idea, the station in Rome is exactly how you would imagine Dante's inferno, people rushing, running, climbing, sometimes climbing on's all fast pace, noisy, chaotic, everyone seems to have atomized motions, thoughts wander, people are distracted. 

If, in all of this confusion, you take a moment to stop and observe, you will notice some incredible things.... 
Usually my train is never on time, never means completely unreliable...unless I'm late, that's when the train will leave precise on the dot.  It happened to be that I missed my train that day and I had to run across the station to catch another one on the opposite side, which was leaving in 10 minutes.  Another misfortunate in front of me runs to catch his train too and while doing so, something falls out of his pocket...his wallet.  Not too far from the wallet was a bench with a homeless man sleeping.  Next to him, a cart with his entire home stacked and tied up in ropes.  On top of all of that, what would be the roof of his home, was his dog, snoopy style, wide awake and alert.  My pace gets faster towards the wallet, with the intention to give it to the guy who, by now, was far and camouflaged in the middle of the crowd.  I knew that anyone else behind me would have picked up that wallet to keep it or give it back to the owner.  I did something else.  I kicked it to the side of the man sleeping on the bench.  His dog, jumped down from Mount Everest, fetched the wallet and put it in his owner's hands.  At this point, I was walking backwards, the man woke up, opened the wallet, looked at the dog, looked at the wallet, back at the dog...he then made room on the bench and had his dog join him.  The dog wrapped his paw around the owner and they slept some more.  A few days later, I saw that man and dog again, they were both eating some food that seemed to be decent, the man had a good pair of running shoes on his feet.  There was an incredible empathy between them.  I like to believe that, that kick towards their side did some good, even if on the expense of the man who lost his wallet, he must have been really pissed that day, I know I would be, but in Dante's inferno, life can be rough for some.  I think luck should go to those.

The recipe today is humble and simple, actually it's just a matter of boiling 3 ingredients, adding some salt and pepper, a few croutons and some crispy prosciutto bits.  All of this together will give you an excellent creamy soup that rewards in taste and comfort.  Something that requires the least of effort and gives a whole lot of warmth inside. 

for 4 people

4 medium size Potatoes
Celeriac, also called turnip-rooted celery or knob celery
1 garlic clove
1/2 litre water
a pinch of salt
some diced bread to make croutons
some thinly sliced prosciutto (or bacon) 
some fennel leaves for extra flavor
good extra virgin olive oil

In a pot, add cold water, chopped potatoes, chopped celeriac, 1 garlic clove and some salt.  Bring to a boil.  In the meantime, dice some bread, making little cubes, drizzle with some olive oil and place under the grill in the oven until golden brown. Place the thinly sliced prosciutto in a non-stick pan and cook until crispy.

When the vegetables have softened (poke with a fork to check) remove from heat and blend all of the ingredients to form a creamy consistency.  Serve in each bowl, add the croutons, the crispy prosciutto, some pepper and drizzle with olive oil.  


  1. this truly is comfort food. i will try this without bacon. beautiful post as always:)

  2. A wonderful soup and combination! Very comforting.