Beluga lentils and mushrooms? I'm all in!
I came across this recipe in the February/March 2017 issue of Organic Life magazine. I'm a huge fan of Beluga lentils — they hold their shape and don't fall apart like some lentils. And they have this incredibly clean, earthy taste (that's really hard for me to describe right now for some reason! Lol!). Anyway, if you've never had Beluga lentils before, here's a great opportunity to try them.
I modified the recipe only slightly to make it 8SAFE. The original recipe called for a tablespoon of butter (which is made from milk) so I needed to leave that out, but it was such a small amount that it was super easy to just substitute with olive oil. And since I've never tried this soup before I had no idea what it was 'supposed' to taste like — so I entered into it with an open mind and zero expectations. And I'm glad I did because this soup is really good!
Celeriac roots look like the big knobs pictured above. They're about the size of a baseball and a little denser than a potato. If you can't find them at your local grocery store, you could try a farm market or produce specialty market. And I bet in a pinch you could even substitute the celeriac root for thin-skinned potatoes and it would taste great.
The recipe calls for you to reconstitute the dried mushrooms in boiling water for a bit before chopping them up and adding them to the soup (the leftover mushroom broth is added to the soup as well). You wanna make sure the mushrooms are totally submerged in the water — and placing a bowl or cup on top of them will do the trick. Just be careful that the water doesn't overflow and burn you when you do it!
The first time I made the soup I fried Hen of the Woods mushrooms for the garnish and they were awesome. The second time around, my only option was baby Shitake mushrooms and they were really good too. But I've gotta say the Hen of the Woods mushrooms made for easier frying and a better presentation (if that matters at all to you).
Overall this soup was easy to make, full of flavor, and really hearty — definitely one to keep in the rotation of 8SAFE options!
Celeriac & Mushroom Soup
This recipe has been slightly modified from the original version by Susan Spungen, which appeared in the February/March 2017 issue of Organic Life magazine. This recipe is easily made using whole food ingredients that are inherently 8SAFE — with the exception of chicken stock (I used Pacific Brand chicken stock which is 8SAFE).
A recipe is only 8SAFE if it is free of gluten and the top eight food allergens. Please be mindful of this when selecting products to use in this recipe, and double check the ingredients of the products you use.
1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 ribs celery, diced (about 3/4 cup)
2 small celeriac roots, peeled and cubed (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup beluga lentils
3 sprigs of thyme
4 cups chicken stock (or use vegetable stock to make vegan)
2 cups water
8 oz. fresh wild mushrooms (like hen of the woods, cut into 1" pieces) or baby Shitake mushrooms
salt & pepper
chopped parsley, celery leaves, or thyme for garnish (optional)
Place dried mushrooms in a heatproof liquid measuring cup and pour boiling water over the mushrooms up to the 2 cup mark. Place a small bowl or cup on top of the mushrooms so that they're fully submerged in the water, and let sit for 15-20 minutes until the mushrooms have softened. Remove mushrooms and chop, reserving the liquid to add to the soup.
In a wide saucepan heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, diced celery, and a big pinch of salt and cook until soft (about 10-12 minutes), stirring frequently.
Add celeriac root, chopped porcini mushrooms, lentils, thyme sprigs, stock, and 2 cups water. Pour in the mushroom liquid (being careful not to add any dirt or grit that accumulated in the bottom of the cup).
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until lentils and celeriac root are tender (about 30 minutes). Remove thyme stems, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the fresh mushrooms until browned and crisp (about 8 minutes), stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle soup into bowls and top with the browned mushrooms and chopped parsley, celery leaves, and/or fresh thyme. Enjoy!