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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Not Just For Business News

We get home delivery of The Wall Street Journal every Saturday.  During the week, Ted reads it at the office so I don't usually see it.  Once in a while he'll being it home, but for the most part, I'm a Saturday only Journal reader.  (Yes, you're right.  I could read it online, but I'd rather complain that Ted doesn't bring it home for me.  You know how I am.)

And besides, it's fine with me because Saturday's edition  is the best anyway.  Saturday's edition has the Off Duty section.  There's something of interest on every page.  There's even a recipe or two, which I absolutely love.  I mean, come on.  Recipes in the WSJ.  A stroke of genius, if you ask me.

This week's recipe, from food writer Peter Berley, is for a winter root vegetable soup.  The nice thing is that it's a perfect way to use up whatever's lurking in your kitchen: sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, celery -- you get the idea.  Mix and match two pounds worth of oddball root veggies and you're halfway done.

I added half the creme fraiche called for in the recipe and, believe me, it was plenty rich.  I also cheated on the walnuts.  I had a package of candied walnuts from Trader Joe's.  They worked like a charm, although I may just have to give these a spin as well.

Either way, The Wall Street Journal serves up not only the business news,  but dinner as well.

Recipe:  Winter Root Vegetable Potage With 
Crème Fraiche and Honey Crisped Walnuts


For the honey-crisped walnuts:
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 cup walnut halves and pieces
3 tablespoons honey
Fine sea salt

For the soup:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 pound onions, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
2 pounds assorted root vegetables, peeled and roughly chopped  (I used carrots, sweet potatoes, celery, parsnips, and rutabagas.)
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, lightly toasted and finely ground
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup crème fraîche, plus more for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
Finely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish


Make honey-crisped walnuts: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small baking dish or pie plate with butter. Add walnuts to pan and drizzle evenly with honey. Roast walnuts, stirring every 5 minutes, until golden brown, about 14 minutes. Transfer nuts to a plate, season lightly with salt and let cool.

Make soup: Heat oil and butter in a heavy, lidded 4- to 5-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, ginger and salt to pan, stir well, cover and simmer over medium-low heat until garlic and onions are soft, 15-20 minutes.

Add root vegetables, fennel, turmeric and cayenne. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, 2-3 minutes. Pour in stock and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer until vegetables are very tender, 30-40 minutes. Add crème fraîche and simmer 3-4 minutes. Use an immersion blender (or, working in batches, a food processor or stand blender) to purée soup until smooth. Season with salt and black pepper. Garnish with honey-crisped walnuts, parsley and crème fraîche.

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