Roasted Kabocha Squash and Celery Root Soup

Kabocha Squash and Celery Root Soup

This soup is adapted (ever so slightly) from a favorite soup-oriented cookbook—Anna Thomas’ Love Soup.  If you don’t have turnips, substitute a slightly larger squash, more celery root or a few carrots.  Celery root is the gnarly subterranean root of the common celery plant.  It’s an overlooked treasure—loaded with vibrant celery flavor and a nice crunch.  You’ll enjoy it raw as well as cooked—shave some into a green salad for a change of pace.

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French Lentils with Sautéed Mushrooms and Roasted Vegetables

This recipe was adapted from Clean Start by Terry Walters. Here’s a great opportunity to clear out the fridge, as nearly any winter root (or squash) will work wonderfully.  French green lentils are smaller and darker than brown ones.  They hold their shape in cooking, so are better for salads and pilafs.  You’ll find them at Whole Foods and many grocery stores.

Serves 6


  • 3 cups peeled and cubed (3/4 inch) mixed roots or winter squash (such as carrot, parsnip, turnip, rutabaga, celery root, potato or butternut squash)
  • 1 large onion peeled and cut into ½ inch wedges
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup dry French green lentils
  • 3 cups vegetable stock or water
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (plus more)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 4 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine or sherry
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 400 ° F.  Toss roots with olive oil to coat.  Place on a baking sheet.  Toss onion with olive oil to coat and place on a separate baking sheet.  Roast both until tender (onions will take about 25 minutes, roots about 35).  Turn once or twice during cooking.
  2. While vegetables are roasting, place lentils in a saucepan with water/stock and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and cover.  Simmer until tender (about 20 minutes).  Drain well.  Toss with one Tablespoon olive oil and one Tablespoon lemon juice.
  3. In a large skillet, heat butter with one Tablespoon olive oil.  Sauté mushrooms until they’ve reduced in size and browned in many spots.  Add sherry and one Tablespoon lemon juice.  Add thyme and cook until liquid is mostly absorbed.   Fold in lentils and roasted vegetables (with any caramelized pan drippings).  Heat through.  Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Toss with parsley and add more lemon juice or olive oil as needed for taste.

Root Vegetable Korma

Korma is a creamy, rich vegetable stew — Indian comfort food worthy of a dinner party, but easy to throw together for mid-week supper as well. This version comes from Nigel Slater’s fabulous cookbook come memoir, Tender: A Cook and his Vegetable Patch. Serve with rice or naan (in the frozen section at Trader Joe’s).


  • 2 ½ pounds mixed roots: parsnip, rutabaga, carrot, turnip, potato or such
  • 2/3 cup cashews
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and minced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, coarsely grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 small green chiles, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup cream
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Peel and cut the vegetables into uniformly sized cubes, ¾ inch or so.
  2. Coarsely chop half the cashews. Toast the whole cashews in a small dry skillet until spotted in areas with golden brown.
  3. Open cardamom pods. Remove seeds. Crush with a mortar and pestle into a gritty powder.
  4. Warm the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan and stir in the onions. Cook until soft, but not colored. Add the ginger and garlic and cook over gentle heat for a couple of minutes. Add the cardamom, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chile powder and cinnamon stick. Cook the spices for a few minutes until their fragrance is noticeable.
  5. Add the vegetables, chopped nuts and chiles. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in 3 cups water, partially cover with a lid and simmer gently for 45 minutes until roots are tender.
  6. Carefully add the cream and yogurt to the pan, letting them heat through, but not boil (or the mixture will curdle). Check the seasoning and add more salt or pepper as needed. Scatter the toasted nuts and some chopped cilantro on top before serving.

Root Vegetable Tarts

I’ve always liked working with frozen puff pastry, but this winter, I’ve gone a little crazy. There’s just so much you can do with the product. Concocting sweet or savory tarts, turnovers, appetizer bites, even pizzas, with such elegance, no one will believe you slapped it all together in less than an hour. The key for spontaneity, is to make sure you have some defrosted pastry waiting in the fridge – it will keep this way for a week, possibly more. You can also defrost the product on the kitchen counter fairly quickly, less than an hour depending on the brand – the Trader Joe’s version is ready in 20 minutes.

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