Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Stunning Starters

Start Your Holiday meal with a Starter to Set the Stage


Celery Root Soup

1 large celery root with hard outer peel removed and chopped
1 onion, sliced
Toasted sesame oil
White miso paste
Good quality water

If you prefer for Thanksgiving use butternut squash in place of the celery root or add some in along with it.  Celery Root gives a wonderful elegant flavor.  Both are a nice creamy soup.

Add a small amount of the oil to a saucepan over medium heat and sauté the onion for several minutes.  Add the Celery root and then water to cover by at least one inch.
Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat with a lid on for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are soft.  Transfer to a blender and blend with miso to taste.  (Approx. 1 tsp. miso paste per cup of soup)  Garnish with fresh parsley.

Butternut Squash Soup
Pick the darkest looking squash you can find so that when you cut into it the color is deep orange.  That is when they are the sweetest.  For even more filling holiday flare - add chestnuts.

1 large red onion, sliced
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks with seeds removed
1 Tablespoon dried basil (optional)
1-3 Tablespoons olive oil
White miso paste
Good water
Nutmeg (optional)

In a good sized pot, sauté the onion for several minutes in the olive oil and add the basil.
Add the squash and enough water to cover the vegetables with approximately 1 tsp. Sea salt.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Process in a food processor or blender into a smooth creamy soup.
Adjust the salt/miso to taste and garnish with nutmeg

A fun appetizer can be made with your own easy tofu cheese too.  Simple slice veggies, crackers or toasts and top or get fancier by baking zucchini and hollowing out a boat.  Mix the tofu cheese with blanched vegetables like carrots and peas and fill the boats.

Tofu Cheese

1 block tofu any size
light barley miso(or any miso really)

Simply plaster the miso all around the tofu and leave uncovered in the refrigerator for 3 days (sitting on a plate is good idea).  Scrape off the miso and you now have tofu cheese.  Really it works.



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