One week until Christmas eve! Are you as excited as I am? For the children christmas revolves mainly around the presents but for the grown-ups it’s all about the meal (and the spirit, of course!). In Germany we celebrate on the evening of the 24th. Traditionally a Sunday roast is served, often with red cabbage and ‘Knödel’, dumplings made of patatoe or bread. Meat, cabbage, bread and potatoes- the staples of German cuisine in one dish. When I first became vegetarian, christmas suddenly became a challenge for me. I felt deprived because I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) have any of the roast. The food resembled my past, my family and our customs.
Because the culinary traditions in most countries center around meat, one can sometimes get the feeling that living without it means a sacrifice. We tend to forget how many different fruits and vegetables exist. Nuts, herbs, spices legumes and grains: delicacies pleasing to the most refined palate. This christmas, I wanted to create a three course holiday meal that is both traditional and vegan so that, at the dinner table, my past and my future could dine in unison (am I getting to cheesy here?). Anyhow, the first course is a hommage to Dutch cuisine, a declaration of love to my boyfriend’s homecountry (oh yes, I definitely am) and a super healthy vegetarian starter.
- vegetable oil
- 2 onions
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 2 small potatoes
- 150g celery root
- 1,5 liter vegetable broth
- 900 gr frozen peas (in summer, this recipe is delicious with fresh peas, they are in season between May and September)
- 1 hand full of parsley
- 1 tsp chervil
- salt and pepper to taste
- vegan cream
- 2 hands full of fresh mint
- rye bread
- First chop the potatoes, the onions, the garlic, the celery root, the parsley and half of the mint
- Next fry the onions and the garlic in the vegetable oil until the onions are translucent. Be careful not to burn the garlic!
- Then add the broth, the remaining vegetables (the potatoes, the peas and the celery root) and the chervil, let it simmer with a lid on
- Leave the mixture on the stove for 30 minutes, then puree it, add the chopped herbs and salt and pepper to taste, let it cook for another five minutes
- Serve the soup with rye bread and decorate it with vegan cream and fresh mint
Tip: You can prepare this soup one day before, so that you’ve got fewer things to worry about on the day of the meal; if you’ve got time to spare, self-baked rye bread would be lovely with this soup, here’s a great recipe in case you’re interested.