The final Sunday Night Soup of the year features a visit by the Titans of Tennessee to the Colts of Indianapolis. As it happens, these are the Gurgling Cod’s two least favorite NFL franchises. The Titans deliberately injured Patriot safety Rodney Harrison in the regular season finale last year, making it possible for the Colts to be the last team to beat the Patriots. The Titans need a win to make the playoffs, while the Colts have clinched a playoff berth. A win does the Colts no good, so expect to see members of the Terre Haute Youth Choir and the Evansville Jaycees getting plenty of snaps. Soupwise, a bit of a poser – we have discussed the uncompelling foodways of Indiana before. Tennessee is known to have good things to eat, but most are in solid form, such as BBQ. An exception would be Jack Daniels, but if you want to make a whiskey-based soup (JD is not a Bourbon), you are on your own. So instead of local, we will think seasonal.
For the first time in Sunday Night Soups history, the Gurgling Cod has access to the Codmother’s cookbook collection. One item here is The Seasonal Kitchen, by Perla Meyers. This book is interesting for in that it is explicitly seasonal in its structure and outlook, and was published in 1973, by someone not named Alice Waters. These facts do make the history of eating in the United States in the last forty years or so more complicated, but it would take more room than we have here to sort that out. In any event, here’s her Celeriac Soup, which is just the sort of restorative brew that makes sense in the week between Christmas and New Years’.
Perla Meyers' Celeriac Soup of ’73
- 3 tbs butter
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed.
- 4 smallish or 2 large celery roots aka celeriac peeled and cubed
- 2 parsnips, peeled and cubed
- Salt and pepper
- 8 cups chicken stock (you should use the real stuff here)
- 1 large bouquet garni
- 1 cup heavy cream
Melt butter in large casserole. Soften onions, without browning, for 5 minutes.
Add celeriac, potatoes and parsnips, season with salt and pepper, and cover with chicken stock. Add bouquet garni. Bring to boil, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender.
Allow soup to cool, and puree with blender or food mill.
Thin the soup with cream (That’s what Perla says – it was the 70s, after all.) Reheat, and garnish with finely chopped parsley.