This month, after I realized that we'd unintentionally scheduled our first soup event of the year right smack dab on top of a Packers' play-off game, I re-learned one of the initial lessons that apply when you don't require RSVP's: it doesn't matter how many people turn up, it's still a party.
The fact of the matter is, Soup Night always attracts just the right number of people. Not too many, and never too few. Though I make three pots of soup every time, it always seems to become the perfect amount. And I'm always surprised by how everything just works out.
Some guests wandered in and out of the dining room, checking the score of the game. Others stood near the table, nibbling and visiting like old friends. All the while I was moved by the goodness of friends -- not only in the joy they brought to the event, but by the way new guests were welcomed into the fold and embraced -- often by strangers.
I was also reminded about the beauty of simplicity. Although I made a lovely beef stock for the French onion soup, and tweaked a number of elements (including roasting the broccoli and garlic) for creamy broccoli soup, it was the hearty, seasonal peasant-inspired creamed celeriac soup with roasted potatoes, sausage, and kale that won the most accolades.
Diced celeriac, cooked in chicken stock and blended into a smooth puree, forms the base for this lusciously creamy soup. Sauteed Hungarian sausages provide seasoning, while roasted potatoes and chopped lacinato kale serve to give the soup a stick-to-your-ribs quality.
If you've never cooked with celeriac, this soup is a nearly perfect way to try it out for the first time. You'll be shocked by its sweet richness, and bewitched by its easy-going personality. Celeriac marries perfectly with potatoes. But it gets along with sausage and kale just as well.
Simple. Delicious. And no RSVP required.
Creamed Celeriac Soup with Potatoes, Sausage, and Kale