It's only recently that we have come to love celery root, or celeriac as it is also known. It's pretty ugly, and as the saying goes, you eat with your eyes first. But we have found this funny-looking root vegetable to be quite delicious in dishes such as our Potato, Leek and Celeriac Gratin. Then again, cheese can be like bacon in that everything-tastes-better-with-it kind of way. Regardless, we bought a couple of celery roots the last time we were at the farmers market and were looking for something new to do with them.
Rewind to Christmas, when Amy received this beautiful set of cookbooks from her cousin J (Thank you so much, J! We love you!). The cookbooks are particularly meaningful as they contain recipes created by the Rome Sustainable Food Project at the American Academy of Rome, where Amy was lucky enough to study in the summer of 2004 via a Fulbright Grant. She has so many wonderful memories of her time at the AAR and her other adventures in Rome, and while this particular program did not exist back then (darn it!), Italian, or more specifically, Roman, food is definitely something close to her heart and soul. Suffice it to say, she loves these books and she has been flipping around in them almost daily since she got them.
Now back to the celery root thing. Since the volume on soup, Zuppe, is arranged by seasons, one of the first things she had looked at was the chapter focusing on winter, and there it was! Celery Root Soup (or, rather, passato di sedano rape), a velvety soup with beautifully rich flavors of celery, leek and potato that was as comforting as it was nourishing. Just lovely. And perfect for Meatless Monday.
Now, normally, we would post the recipe for you. But, as is noted on their website, "The American Academy in Rome is a private institution supported by gifts, grants and membership fees of individuals, foundations, corporations and leading colleges, universities and arts and cultural organizations." And purchasing items in their store, particularly these amazing cookbooks, is part of that support. So we don't want to do anything to take away from that. Perhaps this post and its photographs will inspire you to consider buying the book from AAR (or on Amazon here) and enjoying this and 49 other amazing soup recipes.