Now that winter has come for good there is nothing better than a fragrant and hot soup! A nourishing and healing soup with lots of vegetables and apple.
I think it is time for me to give you some ideas for dishes that can stand in your Christmas table. This soup is, therefore, an ideal starter. It is an easy and quick recipe, which will leave you time to deal with the other dishes in the menu. Furthermore, you can make a day earlier and put it in the fridge, or even earlier and the freeze it.
This soup contains a lot of vegetables, apple and a secret ingredient …. apple juice! The apple juice blends with the earthy flavor of celeriac root and create a very tasty result. Do not worry, it is not sweetish. Besides, the buttermilk you add at the end brings the perfect balance on the plate. If you do not like buttermilk, you can skip it. I don’t recommend it, though.
The soup contains onions, leeks, carrots, celery, celeriac root and apple. Leeks are rich in soluble and insoluble fiber and contain few calories so it is considered ideal for dieters. They contain sulfur plant chemicals, which are converted, by an enzymatic reaction, to allisini when the leeks are cut. Allisini reduces cholesterol levels and has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal activity. It also reduces the rigidity of blood vessels, thus reducing blood pressure, inhibits thrombus formation and helps reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, vascular disease and stroke. Thanks to its iron content, leeks can help fight anemia. The leafy stem of leeks contains several vitamins such vital pyridoxine, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin and thiamine in healthy proportions. 100 g. of fresh strains provide 64 mg of folic acid, essential for DNA synthesis and cell division. Moreover, the stems have small amounts of metals such as potassbium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and selenium. Moreover, leeks are a good source of vitamin A and other antioxidants such as carotenoids, xanthine and lutein. They also have some other essential vitamins such as C, E and K. Vitamin C helps the human body to develop resistance against infectious agents and to destroy harmful free radicals.
Celery contains vital nutrients such as amino acids, boron, calcium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamin A, several B vitamins (B1, B2 and B6), vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber, which have huge benefits for the human body. Moreover, celery contains a flavonoid called apigenin. According to a US research apigenin acts as anti-inflammatory agent and helps to fight the cellular oxidative stress. The reduction of oxidative stress within the arteries helps to relax the arteries and lowers blood pressure. Furthermore, celery helps in the formation of strong bones and healthy joints, while its diuretic properties help in the removal of uric acid crystals in the joints of the bones. It also helps to renal colic. Investigations have shown that it is effective against ovarian cancer, and contains eight different families of antitumor compounds that assist in the detoxification of carcinogens. It also helps prevent damage to cells caused by free radicals. Finally, it replenishes electrolytes and has an alkaline effect.
Celeriac root is low in calories and like celery, has diuretic properties and helps combat various swellings, stimulates the digestive system and liver, and benefits patients with diabetes because it improves the action of insulin in the body.
Preparation time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Servings: 8 (as a starter)
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 leeks, sliced
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 celeriac root (about 900g. peeled and cut into chunks)
- 1 apple, chopped
- 200ml apple juice
- 1200ml vegetable stock (preferably homemade), hot
- salt, pepper
- buttermilk, 1,5% fat
- In a large saucepan, over medium-low heat, melt the butter.
- Add the onions, leeks, carrots and celery and cook for 10-12 minutes, until tender, stirring occasionally.
- Add the celery root and apple and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
- Pour in the apple juice and let the vegetables simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.
- Add the vegetable stock and salt and pepper as desired, and bring to boil.
- Simmer the vegetables for 20-25 minutes, until softened completely.
- Puree vegetables. For finest results, pass the soup through a strainer.
- Serve the soup hot with, some buttermilk and freshly ground pepper.
Nutritional Facts per Serving
Recipe adapted from Delicious magazine.