This month's Go Ahead Honey is bought to you by Lauren of Celiac Teen, a young blogger whose enthusiasm and general joi de vivre are completely infectious!
She chose 'Follow the Calendar' to start the year with because she's always missing food holidays and wanted to see what everyone else celebrated throughout the month of January. She provides a fantastic resource for anyone still wanting to join in, with a different food or drink celebrated on every day of January and themes for the whole month too!
January is officially Soup Month! So I plumped for soup, because it's what I crave in January and is a great antidote to any excessive consumption from Christmas. I love any kind of soup, thick and creamy, smooth and piquant, finely chopped or chunky, a celebration of one vegetable (like this broccoli soup or this pea soup), spiced (like this parsnip soup), beefed up with some lentils or chorizo (like this squash soup) or simply a comforting broth (like this simple spiced beef broth). Soup is a thing that wears a coat of many colours.
Clients frequently ask me how they can avoid the ubiquitous sandwich lunch when they don't have time to cook a meal from scratch in the middle of the day? Soup is often what I suggest as it can be prepared in advance and stored in glass jars in the fridge or frozen in portions. Then it's about the quickest meal you can find.
You can eat your soup plain and simple, or pimp it up with some of the following:
* Last night's roast vegetables, chopped and heated through in the soup (above)
* Chopped fresh herbs or spring onions
* Toasted pumpkin seeds, tamari sunflower seeds, dry roasted cumin or fennel seeds, nigella seeds, black or yellow mustard seeds
* Sprouted seeds, alfalfa, sprouted beans or pulses
* Cooked lentils or beans
* Chunks of chorizo or bacon fried crisp
* Scraps of cold meat
* Feta cheese crumbled over
* Hard cheese grated over
* A hard boiled egg chopped in or a fresh egg poached in the soup
* Strips of egg crepe
* Some spinach or watercress finely shredded (chiffonade) in the bottom of the bowl
* A drizzle of your favourite cold pressed olive oil, argan oil, walnut, hazelnut or macadamia oil
* Chunks of fresh tomato, pepper or avocado stirred in
Need I go on? You could eat the same soup every day and never have it the same way twice! Treat soup as the canvas for your creativity and you will never have a boring lunch again.
Here's a January soup that celebrates the humble celeriac, or celery root. Grab it while you can because it will only be around for another month or so. It has a subtle, creamy aniseed flavour and if you listen carefully, you can hear a coconutty rumble in the background. So I paired it with a little coconut and some chicken stock to make a soothing, creamy blanket for a cold day. Enjoy!
If you would like to join the event visit Lauren's blog for all the details and post something by January 28th.
Celeriac & Coconut Soup for 4-6
This soup is good for anyone who finds alliums a little hard to digest as they are in the stock, but not the finished soup. Anyone following a low fructan/fructose diet will also find it good for the same reason.
1 large celeriac (celery root)
450ml chicken stock (or mushroom stock to make it vegan)
400ml coconut milk (watch out for stabilisers if you're on the SCD)
1 tsp goose fat or schmaltz (chicken fat) or coconut oil for vegan.
1 tsp butter or coconut oil
sea salt and black pepper
Optional - turkish chili flakes and olive oil to dress
Chop and clean the whole leek and put it in a smallish lidded saucepan with your chosen stock and coconut milk. Bring to the boil, put the lid on and simmer gently for about 15 minutes while you get on with the next bit.
Peel and dice the celeriac. Heat your 2 tsp of fat in a large saucepan and sauté the celeriac in it very gently, stirring occasionally until it has taken a bit of colour.
Strain the hot stock through a sieve onto the celeriac, discard the leek (to the compost) and bring to the boil again. Simmer with a lid on until the celeriac is soft enough to squash with the back of a wooden spoon.
Set aside until warm and then puree in a blender until velvety smooth - add more water or stock if it seems too thick. Check the seasoning and add any salt or pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice if you think the flavour needs brightening. You could also add chili flakes if you like it a little spicy.
Warm again in a pan and serve.