The first snow storm of the season.... There is something magical about it. Particularly, if it is the gentle kind and, an absolute surprise! I woke up to a soft blanket of white on Saturday. There was fresh croissant on the table but I had no interest in it. Almost, compelled by some mysterious force, I was drawn to the white sifting layer that had not yet covered everything completely but seemed determined to.
I sat for hours in my kitchen in that distinctive snow light - it's not like a rainy day light, it's not cloudy, it's just snowy. And, I felt a slow crawl of haze around me.. inside me. I think I was just fatigued with Holiday hangover. But, it really felt ok to give in to it. Not something I would let myself indulge in typically, feeling guilty about sitting and taking time to let myself heal. I am slowly learning to give myself the permission. And, a snow day is the perfect setting to feel better :)
I spent the day reading and souping for lunch. I made a softly spicy soup with charred poblano and jalapeno peppers and then tossed in celeriac cooked in orange juice and rutabaga, rounding it off with lots of cream and a creamy, caramelly Dutch aged Gouda. It has just a little hint of spice from the charred jalapeno that makes it warm all the way inside you. And, the rest of it is just creamy, healthy, vegetable, Winter goodness!
It is perfect! :)
Char Poblano, Jalapeno, Celeriac and Rutabaga Soup
with cream and aged Dutch cheese
1 rutabaga, peeled and diced
1 medium celeriac, peeled and diced
1 orange, juiced
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 medium poblano peppers
1/2 cup cream
3 cups water
1/2 cup grated aged gouda
In a pot, boil and cook the celeriac and rutabaga pieces with the orange and lemon juices and one cup of water. By the time it is cooked, the liquid should have thickened and reduced.
Meanwhile, broil the poblano peppers and jalapeno till charred. Wrap in foil and set aside to cool.
When cool enough to handle, peel the skin off the peppers and skin away the seeds. Discard the seeds and skins.
Whiz together the cooked vegetables, cream and remaining water into a smooth puree. Season with salt and pepper.
Return the puree back into a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes until it thickens to the right consistency. Add the cheese and let it melt into the soup.
Serve with a generous topping of the tabouleh salad (if using) and roasted pine nuts.