19 September, 2009

Green and warm



From time to time we all feel the need to eat something warm and creamy, and it usually comes with cold, rainy weather. Well, I had this craving back in June, when it was still hot and sunny. I don't know why. I just woke up one day thinking about the semolina dumplings that my mother prepared often with chicken or beef soup, and I couldn't get them out of my head. And thanks God for modern times and Internet, or else I would have had to make a few international phonecalls to ask for an advice and recipe for these. A quick Google search and I had the necessary instructions. They are very simple, but it takes a bit of practice and experience or simply beginner's luck like I had to achieve the right consistency.
Instead of making the traditional chicken or beef soup, I decided to use up some celery stalks lying in my fridge. The result was this delicious and creamy soup that I enjoyed a lot, especially because it was seasoned with some childhood memories.
I guess it's about time I made this again. What do you think?

CELERY AND PEAS CREAM SOUP

300 g celery (about 6 stalks)
100 g frozen or fresh peas
1 small onion
1 medium size potato
2 cubes of vegetable buillion
about 1 litre water (or a little more)

SEMOLINA DUMPLINGS

1 egg
1 tablespoon softened butter
semolina (1/3 cup + 1 tblspoon)

Clean and chop the celery. Peel and dice the potato. Put them in a pot with cold water and add the fresh or frozen peas as well.
Peel the onion and brown it for a few minutes in an empty skillet. This will add some nice smell and flavour to your soup.

Add the onion to the pot with other vegetables and bring to boil.

Lower the heat and cook covered for about 45 min to 1 hour. Check when vegetables are cooked.
Put the vegetables with little stock in a blender


and process until smooth and creamy.

Add the buillion cubes to the rest of the stock and let it boil slightly.
In the meantime prepare the dumplings.
Whisk a tablespoon of softened butter until creamy.


Add the egg and mix well. Start adding the semolina.

I started with 1/3 Cup, formed one dumpling and dropped it into the hot stock, but it fell apart. Not a good sign. So I added 1 more tablespoon, tested again and they were ok.

To form dumplings use two small spoons (tea or coffee spoons). Dip one spoon into hot stock, then take a small amount of semolina paste (they'll fluff and get bigger when cooked), remove with another spoon and drop into the boiling stock. Repeat with the rest of the paste.

As they cook, they will start floating up to the surface. To be sure they are cooked take one out and taste it.

In the end, add the puréed vegetables, mix gently to blend everything and let simmer for a minute or two.

If you want it denser, let it simmer until you reach desired density. If you want it thinner, add a little hot water or stock and let it simmer shortly.
If you don't want or don't like the dumplings, you can enjoy the soup without any addition, or add some small pasta like tubettini or again some bread crostini.
It's not like these must go together, it's just me that wanted this soup and the dumplings together.



(Ita)
CREMA DI SEDANO E PISELLI

Una crema delicata e gustosa da aggiungere al menu delle giornate fredde e piovose, e portare un po' di colore e allegria in tavola.
Per non dimenticare naturalmente i benefici delle verdure di colore verde.

Ingredienti per la crema:

300 g di sedano
100 g di piselli surgelati o freschi
1 cipolla piccola
1 patata
2 dadi vegetali

GNOCCHETTI DI SEMOLINO

1 uovo
1 cucchiaio di burro ammorbidito
semolino

Pulite il sedano e la patata e tagliateli a tocchetti. Pulite la cipolla e rosolatela intera per qualche minuto in una padellina senza olio. Mettete il sedano, i piselli, la patata e la cipolla in una pentola con circa 1 litro (o un po' di più) di acqua fredda. Portate a ebollizione, poi abbassate la fiamma e lasciate cuocere coperto per circa un'ora.
Frullate le verdure con un po' di brodo. Aggiungete i dadi nel resto del brodo e lasciate bollire mentre preparate gli gnocchetti. Aggiustate di sale se necessario.
Mescolate il burro ammorbidito con l'uovo. Aggiungete la semola un po' alla volta fino a ottenere un impasto molto morbido (io ho messo prima circa 50 g, poi ho fatto la prova, ma appena ho messo lo gnocchetto nel brodo si è spappolato, così ho aggiunto un cucchiaio e poi erano perfetti).
Aiutandovi con due cucchiaini da tè formate degli gnocchetti piccoli e lasciateli cadere nel brodo bollente.
Lasciateli cuocere per qualche minuto, assaggiatene uno per vedere se sono pronti.
Quando sono quasi pronti unite le verdure frullate e lasciate cuocere insieme per qualche istante.
Se non vi piacciono questi gnocchetti, potete gustare la crema senza aggiungere niente, oppure aggiungere un po' di pastina o dei crostini di pane.



(Cro)
KREM JUHA OD CELERA I GRAŠKA

S dolaskom jeseni i prvih prehlada, sve češće poželimo nešto toplo u tanjuru. Da malo promijenite klasičnu kokošju/pileću ili goveđu juhu, kušajte ovu ukusnu, kremastu juhicu od povrća.

Sastojci za juhu:

300 g celera (oko šest stapki, ne korijen)
100 g smrznutog ili svježeg graška
1 manja glavica crvenog luka
1 krumpir
2 kocke za juhu od povrća

KNEDLE OD GRIZA

1 jaje
1 žlica omekšalog maslaca
griz (oko 50 g + 1 žlica)

U lonac s otprilike 1 - 1,5 litrom hladne vode stavite grašak, celer i krumpir narezane na komadiće. Očistite luk, i popržite cijelu glavicu u praznoj tavi ili na ploči el. štednjaka, da zamiriše i dobije svijetlo smeđu boju. Dodajte u lonac s povrćem.
Kad voda provrije, smanjite temperaturu i kuhajte dok sve povrće nije kuhano (oko 1 sat).
Šupljikavom žlicom izvadite povrće i propasirajte ga mikserom.
U juhu dodajte kocke za juhu i po potrebi dodajte još začine po želji (sol, papar, vegetu, peršin).
Pripremite knedle uz pomoć dvije žličice i kuhajte ih u juhi.
Ja sam prvo dodala 50 g griza, ali kad sam stavila prvu knedlu u juhu odmah se raspala. Dodala sam još jednu žlicu, i poslije su bile dovoljno čvrste, ali ne pretvrde.
Kad isplivaju na površinu i skoro su kuhane, dodajte ispasirano povrće, kuhajte još kratko miješajući. Ako je juha prerijetka kuhajte dok se ne zgusne, a ako volite rjeđu juhu dodajte više vode/juhe od povrća.
Umjesto griz knedli, možete dodati tjesteninu, poprženi kruh ili ništa. Vama po želji i ukusu.

11 comments:

  1. That sounds so comforting and delicious, like a bowl of delicious creamy warmth!! Love the dumplings in this.

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  2. Those dumplings looks so good! What a great combo, it is definitely a comforting looking bowl of soup :)

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  3. your soup looks very summery with the celery. Isn't it funny how comforting dumplings can be? Looks delish!!! I think I'll have to go make some soup now :)

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  4. It's raining here today. This soup does look warm and yummy! I've never tried dumplings in pea soup. I like it! :P

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  5. Yum. Good job : ) It probably has a really nice consistency.

    My mom puts dumplings in her soups sometimes too, vegetable soups mostly.

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  6. This looks absolutely delicious! I love the semolina dumplings!

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  7. I am definitely trying this one! I'll have to cut down the amount of celery and probably use some other veggies because of Steve, of course, lol, but I think it will still be good! Can't wait!

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  8. This sounds positively delicious!!! I have some semolina in the freezer, I am going to have to try this.

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  9. I've never seen that type of dumpling. They look great.

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  10. I love celery and I especially like that the only thing that makes your soup creamy is the veggies! I'm definitely trying this one too!!

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  11. *Thanks, everyone for your nice comments.
    An updade: I tried adding some other veggies - I reduced the quantity of celery and added 1 zucchini, a handful of fava beans, and some Swiss chard. It wasn't even nearly as good as the this simple celery and peas version. So it's up to you if you want to change things or try it as it is.

    *Spryte, one potato is enough to make it creamy. So there's no need to add milk or cream. And it's much tastier and healthier

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