Celery Root & Jerusalem Artichoke Soup (gluten free, vegan, ACD)

I went to the last Saturday farmer's market last weekend. It is tragic to think that this coming Saturday, my bags and I will not be going to the market. I won't be able to flirt with cute farm boys, I will no longer have the anticipation of which vegetable will finally be ready harvest, and I will no longer be able to buy the tasty Cauliflower Pakoras made by the friendly woman who makes kitchari and chutney and all sorts of delightful Indian entrees.

The upside?

I made out like a bandit and got some great deals from farmers looking to get rid of the last of their harvest.

I purchased some beautiful celery roots, jerusalem artichokes, turnips, beets, parsnips, and kohlrabi, among other things. I had a lot of cooking to do this weekend - and that I did. But my fridge is still bursting, and I needed to use up some veggies. I wanted to use up my celery roots and make a small dent in the stash of jerusalem artichokes in my crisper. So, a quick soup was needed.

The result? A creamy, dreamy puree of two of the most unattractive members of the vegetable kingdom, the celery root and the jerusalem artichoke. Knobby and gnarled, they both are far too often ignored in American cuisine! The French use celery root, or celeriac, frequently in cooking, and have lots of tasty recipes for it. It tastes like celery, but more mellow and starchy and delicious. Perfect for a pureed soup. The jerusalem artichoke, also known as the sunchoke, is the tuber from a variety of sunflower. It is starchy and tastes a lot like a potato, and lends itself well as a potato substitue. Jerusalem artichokes make great 'home fries' if you roast them, or can be shredded and made like hash browns. Or, eat them raw, grated on a salad. Paired with celery root, it makes this soup tasty and creamy as can be. Quick and easy, this recipe makes a ton in a very short amount of time.

Celery Root and Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

2 celery roots (a.k.a. celeriac), diced
5-6 jerusalem artichokes, about 2 cups diced OR 1-2 potatoes
3 medium carrots, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 T thyme
1/2 t red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
2 T olive oil/butter combination
7-8 c broth
optional: splash rice/soy/hemp/nut milk

In heavy bottomed soup kettle, heat oil/butter over low heat. Add onions, and saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic and celery, saute for 2 more minutes. Add carrots, saute for 2 minutes. Add chopped celery root, jerusalem artichokes, bay leaf, and broth, and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, and simmer until vegetables are soft.

Remove from heat, and using a blender, food processer, or immersion blender, puree soup until smooth and creamy. If desired, add a splash of your preferred milk substitute to add to the creaminess. Add thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to taste, and puree again to mix and make smooth.

Serve warm with anything!