I’m still on a soup trip! It’s one of my favorite things to make (and eat!)… and again, as discussed on the last Soup Posting, really the ideal food for cold and dry days!
In our house, we make dal alot… and today, I was in the mood to alter the basics a little… so I made a basic dal, but added both celery & celery root to it, and then blended it up for a really creamy result. It ended up tasting very similar to split pea soup… with a similar texture. You’ll need the hand-held immersion blender for this recipe… or a regular ol’ blender (but it’s not nearly as fun or convenient!)
If you don’t already know this, Celery Root (also known as celeriac) is an amazing way to make soups creamy… I learned this in a fantastic restaurant that has a daily vegan soup… they put celery soup in EVERY soup, and blend it up for a creamy result. Plus, Celery Root is not as heavy, starchy or sweet as potato or flour (the traditional go-to thickeners to soups and sauces). Its popular in France, and is used in all kinds of ways. Its sweet, creamy, flavor is well balanced by sour, salt and pungent tastes (such as lemon, rock salt and mustard). In this particular recipe, the spices and the dollop of yogurt on the side provided delicious balace in rasa (taste).
Creamy Dal Recipe
- 1 Cup red lentils (can also use split yellow mung… they will take a little longer to cook)
- Water to cover
- 1 heaping tsp turmeric powder
- 1/3 bulb of celery root, peeled & chopped into small cubes
- 1 celery stalk, washed and chopped roughly
- 2 TB sunflower oil or ghee
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1 TB sucanat (raw sugar)
- 4 curry leaves (if available – find them at an Indian market)
- 1 chopped small green chilie (optional)
- 1-2 inches chopped fresh ginger
- Rinse the lentils
- Immerse in enough water to cover in a pot, and bring to boil
- Add the turmeric & simmer for 15 minutes (longer if using mung) or until lentils are soft (adding more water as needed)
- (While lentils are cooking, prep the ginger, chilie, celery & celery root)
- Add the celery & celery root to the pot
- (Meanwhile) heat the oil or ghee in a small pot or saucepan
- Add the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds and stir over medium heat until they turn color and become aromatic (about 2 minutes)
- Add the ginger, chilie, sucanat and curry leaves and stir into the mixture for about 1 minute
- Pour the spice mixture into the lentil pot and stir in.
- Continue cooking until celery root is soft
- Remove from heat & blend it up thoroughly (with your hand held immersion blender or regular ol’ blender)
- Enjoy with a squeeze of lemon or a dollop of plain whole milk organic yogurt.
- You might pair with a good bread or whole grain or quinoa (which is technically a seed – making a high protein combo with the soup)
- Pair it with a mixed veg curry or even some steamed veggies, such as zucchini, green beans or ginger kale. Something green goes great with this soup!