Roasted Celeriac, Fennel with Kale and White Bean Soup


It seems like yesterday that I was running around Italy with 180 boys.  It wasn't yesterday though, it was last April.  Seven whole months ago.  It seems like yesterday though because I've been running around small town Ontario for the last two days with 180 boys.  Italy vs Small Town Ontario?  I won't comment.
We just finished a very short, whirl-wind tour to kick off our 2013 Christmas Concert Season.  You forget the pain of tour so quickly when it's over and then it hits you so quickly once you are back in the saddle again.  The exhaustion.  The lack of food.  The constant running.  The long hours.  The stress of concert after concert.  The tour becomes your life for that period of time.  You forget that you used to like breakfast and reading the paper.  You forget that eating could be a pleasant experience.  You forget that the internet is a real thing and that news is still happening somewhere.
In the 48 hours while I was away Kid #1 got her first 'Will you go out with me' request (which she declined but they are still friends apparently) and handed in her high school applications, Kid #2 had a play date and skipped Karate class and D played a dance class for a Canadian dance Icon.  That's just the news at our address - the stuff I missed within the walls of the little place we call home.  Just imagine what else happened out there.
When it comes to food on tour it's usually pretty depressing and the last 48 hours have done nothing to lift my mood.  Day one presented pizza, apples and granola bars for lunch and dinner was lasagna, salad and a bun.  Day two brought us pizza for lunch (no apple, no granola bar) and lasagna, salad and a bun for dinner.  I'm sensing a theme here.  I know that it's hard to successfully feed 200 people on a budget but it's like the two churches (in different towns no less) got the same deal or something.  Day one I ate 4 apples and two cartons of chocolate milk, 1 salad and half a bun with two bites of lasagna thrown in there before I gave up.  Day two: 1 salad and a bun with two bites of lasagna before giving up.
Lessons learned from this tour:
1. Most boys under the age of 30 are more concerned with how much food there is rather than what that food tastes like.
2. If given the choice between church coffee and church tea, always choose tea.


This soup is neither pizza nor lasagna and although it tasted great nobody was jazzed about eating it except kid #2 (oddly) I think that a couple of days alone with my tour menu would fix them all right up.


Roasted Celeriac and Fennel with Kale and White Beans Soup
serves 8

1 med sized celeriac (celery root), peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
2 small fennel bulbs, thickly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, whole and still in the skin
grease or oil to coat
1 leek, washed and thinly sliced
2 cups kale (I used lacinato/black kale), torn or sliced into rough slices
1 can (about 1 cup) white beans (cannellini or navy bean), drained and rinsed
4 cups good broth (I used leftover turkey broth - surprise surprise)
1 tbsp parsley, oregano, marjoram
1 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup parmesan
1/2 - 3/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350°F
On a baking sheet, spread out the celeriac chunks, fennel and garlic.  Toss everything in some oil or grease.  Spread out evenly on the baking sheet and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.  Roast for about 35 - 40 min or until everything is soft and golden brown.
Remove from oven and set aside.
Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven over med/low heat.  Add a little oil or butter (about 1-2 tbsp) and the leeks.  Let them cook over low heat for about 7 - 8 minutes.  Remove the casing from the roasted garlic and add the roasted veggies to the leeks.  Stir to mix.  Add about half of the broth and heat through.
In a blender or using an immersion blender, blitz everything until it is a smooth consistency.  (Pour back into the pot if you took it out to blend) Add the rest of the broth and stir to heat through.  Add the herbs, nutmeg and salt.  Mix well.  Check the taste.
Add in the kale, beans and parmesan and heat through until the parmesan has melted in.
Add about 1/2 cup of milk - more if you would like it a little thinner.
Check the taste and adjust (like by adding pepper sauce) if necessary.

1 comments:

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St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.

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Wanda Thorne
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.
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