How do I feel: After dodging the INSANITY OF THE SEAHAWKS HOMECOMING PARADE and finally making it to work BARELY in time to join my awesome boss for a meeting at a clients office, I’m feeling okay. But god, I am freaking hungry and cold as hell.
Okay, so besides YAY Seahawks (and yes, I am really happy about them being so awesome, truly), this city was a (not even remotely hot) mess today. I left for the bus early only to find the street lined with crazy fans. Some were excited, some were drunk (maybe with happiness?) and I was trying to catch the early bus out of the city to the office. No dice. After it never showed, followed by the next two buses that also never showed, I was starting to get nervous. Finally after all the buses never showed, a good Samaritan at our bus stop announced he was driving us all to work. The crazy part? We all live within a 3-4 block radius and all 4 of us work across the street from each other. Well, to be fair, I work across the street from the 3 dudes that work at T-Mobile. They were all really friendly and I’d seen them numerous mornings before. Thank goodness for neighbors. And of course, now we all know each other and have bonded. 🙂
Since it was so late by the time I got to the office and I couldn’t feel my fingers anyway, I had no time to attempt making breakfast. I had my coffee with almond milk waiting for all the buses in King County, and that’ll have to do it, I thought. After the client meeting, I ate an apple and had some water and then ran to the grocery store in an attempt to find some soup I could have. I finally found one that was Whole30 compliant. It sucked.
It was this stupid carrot ginger soup that was still cloyingly sweet to me – thanks to my revived taste buds. I tried to liven it up with some scallions, which made it remotely palatable, but it was a stretch. This was one of those days that you’re just eating to survive. Do you know what I mean? You literally don’t even care. It’s like you just climbed Mt. Rainier and all you can think about is how the mountain full of snow should be a mountain of mashed potatoes and your only hope for happiness is that the dormant volcano at the top is filled with gravy and melted butter that will erupt at the exact moment you reach the summit so you can eat yourself a path into food coma oblivion. Don’t lie, you feel me, don’t you! [looks over top of glasses at you]
I managed to somehow nab a few additional ingredients while at the store for dinner since I had a good girlfriend, Neha, coming over to catch up after work. For dinner I adapted this simple yet delicious celery soup and made roasted yam fries on the side. I was going to make sautéed apples for dessert, but we didn’t get that far, as always. It was all talk, laugh, catch up, swap stories, plot world domination – you know, the usual. I had a few minutes on the phone with my mom before Neha came over, and I was reading the soup recipe to her. This is one of those instances where I remember just how awesome my mom is. I literally only read her the title of the soup, “it’s called Jane Grigson’s Celery Soup,” and she said, “you know that’s going to be a cream based soup, right?” We could not be more related. Of course she is super supportive of me doing the Whole30 and doesn’t want me to (1) get my hopes up about eating something I can’t have, (2) doesn’t want me to accidently make it and then realize in a fit of empty-stomach-light-headed rage that I jus spent 30 minutes making a dish I now have to give away and (3) wants to make sure I have time to plan and cook some alternate dish before my friend arrives. Thanks mom, you’re awesome! So we talk through my substitutions for a few minutes, which actually made me more nervous than relaxed about it. She had very valid points – I was planning to substitute butternut squash and coconut milk for the milk and cream the dish calls for. I also have never made this dish before and have absolutely zero idea if any of this will pan out. Furthermore, I have a mantra in my kitchen that any friend I’ve EVER cooked for would be able to recite for you. When we sit down to dinner, the following two sentences come out:
1. “I’ve never made this before, so I hope it’s good – why do I always experiment on the nights I have people over?”
2. “Remember, if it’s bad, you promise to tell me and we just order pizza instead!”
Ordinarily this would not be a problem. However, pizza and the Whole30 are non-simpatico and Neha is a vegetarian. So I had really planned this meal to be accessible for both of us! Anyway, after we’d considered the potential pitfalls, my mom said “I’m sure it’ll be great! Sounds like you’ve got a plan!” Well, we all know I always [no seriously, alwaysssss] have a plan. But it rarely gets executed as I’d envisioned it.
Let’s cut to the chase. It was FREAKIN’ GOOOOOOOD people. Neha had seconds and I was a total hog and ate basically all the yam fries while we gabbed on my couch into the late hours of the night.
Here’s my adaptation:
Whole30 compliant Celery Soup
- 1/2pound celery, chopped (outside stalks or celeriac — about 2 cups)
- 1/2cup chopped onion
- 1/2cup diced potato [I can’t have potatoes on the Whole30, but I used 2/3 cup diced butternut squash instead, it was a genius swap!]
- 6tablespoons butter [I used 2tbsp ghee and 2tbsp coconut oil instead]
- 4cups turkey or chicken stock [I used vegetable stock instead]
- 1/2 to 1cup milk (optional) [I substituted lite culinary coconut cream/milk instead]
- About 1teaspoons dill weed (2 teaspoons for fresh dill)
- 2 1/2tablespoons cream [I just omitted this]
- Stew celery, onion, and potato/squash gently in the butter/ghee+coconut oil in a covered pan for 10 minutes. Don’t let the vegetables brown. Add stock or water and 1/2 teaspoon of dill weed. Simmer for 20 minutes if you have a blender, 40 minutes if you use a food mill.
- Blend or purée the soup. Pour through a strainer into a clean pan (to remove the last few threads of celery), adding a little milk/coconut milk if too thick. Bring slowly to just under the boil, seasoning with salt, pepper and more dill weed if required.
- Put the cream into the soup dish, and pour the soup in on top [or just don’t]. Swirl round with the ladle before serving, to mix in the cream. [I mean, I LOVE dairy, but didn’t miss the cream at all]
Lesson of the day: Breakfast – don’t leave home without it. You’ll be sorry and so will every person that comes within a 5 yard radius of you.