A bone warming winter’s meal from my stove to yours…

Smoky white fish, tangy sauerkraut, succulent tempeh and sweet root veges laced with cream…

Here is winter supper from my forth coming book “The Flexitarian Table” (Houghton Mifflin June 2007).

Whether you’re a Meat head, Veg head, or a serious Omni-Locavore like my friend Sarah Rose or my cat Bambu you’ll find something tasty here. Yes dear reader it’s time to wake up and smell the sauerkraut, whip out your immersion blender, and get cracking! Cooking is an adventure not some sort of chore! On your way from the green market to your table you will get back to your shtetl roots and even take an excursion to Southeast Asia. You’ll be braising sauteeing, toasting, pan frying, simmering, pureeing and seasoning your way to a sumptious yet deceptively simple supremely satisfying supper.

I’ll leave the dessert up to you…

Creamy Root Soup with Honey-Crisped Walnuts
Sauerkraut with Smoked Whitefish or Fried Tempeh, Green Apples, and Onions

Creamy Root Vegetable Soup with Honey-Crisped Walnuts
Serves 4 to 6

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 pound onions, roughly chopped (about 4 cups)
4 to 6 peeled garlic cloves
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
Sea salt or kosher salt
2 pounds assorted winter root vegetables, such as rutabaga, carrot, parsnip, turnip, celery root, and sunchokes, peeled and roughly chopped (about 8 cups)
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, lightly toasted and finely ground
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
6 cups water or vegetable stock
1 cup heavy cream or half and half ( from a grass fed cow please)
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley, for serving
Honey-Crisped Walnuts, for serving

1. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy, 4 to 5 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon salt and stir well. Cover the pan and simmer over medium-low heat until the garlic and onions are soft and juicy, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Add the root vegetables, ground fennel, and turmeric. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the stock or water and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are completely tender and crush easily against the side of the pan, 30 to 40 minutes. Add the cream and simmer 3 to 4 minutes. Using an immersion blender (or working carefully in batches in a food processor or stand blender), purée the soup until smooth, then season with black pepper and additional salt, as desired.

4. Serve hot, garnished with chopped parsley, and honey-crisped walnuts.

Honey-Crisped Walnuts
Sweet, crunchy roasted walnuts are the perfect accompaniment to everything from breakfast yogurt to salads, cheese platters, and creamy root vegetable soups.

Makes about 1 cup

1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 cup walnut halves and pieces
3 tablespoons honey
Fine sea salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Rub a small baking dish or pie plate with the butter. Add the walnuts and drizzle evenly with the honey. Roast, stirring every 5 minutes, until golden brown, 13 to 14 minutes.
3. Scrape the walnuts onto a plate, season lightly with salt, and let cool. The walnuts will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Sauerkraut with Smoked Whitefish or Fried Tempeh, Green Apples, and Onions

I owe the inspiration for this dish to my dear friend Paul Vandewoude , a marvelous chef from Belgium and proprietor of New York’s charming Miette Culinary studio. I always look forward to working with Paul and sharing an impromptu lunch of smoked fish on buttered rye bread with thinly sliced onions, sauerkraut, and glasses of yeasty Belgium Abbey Beer.
A jar of sauerkraut from a natural food store will be tastier and have better texture than the pouches of cabbage sold as sauerkraut in most supermarkets. This recipe calls for 2 pans, for the two proteins—if you double the fish or tempeh and exclude the other, just use one large pan.
Smoked paprika and salt give the tempeh a great smokiness, but even one of these ingredients will do the trick—look for them in gourmet food stores
Serves 4

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces tempeh, sliced crosswise into 8 pieces
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
3/4 teaspoon smoked sea salt or sea salt

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 cups thinly sliced onions
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1 large granny smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups sauerkraut, rinsed and drained

1 whole smoked white fish or 1 pound kippers, sliced crosswise into 3-inch chunks
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or dill

1. Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the tempeh and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Add the white wine, paprika, and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer until all the wine has been absorbed, 5 to 7 minutes.

2. In each of 2 medium saucepans over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add half of the onions, carrot, celery, apple, and caraway seeds to each pan and cook and stir until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Divide the wine between the pans, bring to a boil, and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir 1 cup sauerkraut and 1/4 cup water into each pan and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.

4. Lay the fish over the vegetables in one pan and the tempeh over the vegetables in the other. Cover the pans and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. Add half of the dill to each pan and simmer 1 more minute before serving.

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3 Responses to “A bone warming winter’s meal from my stove to yours…”

  1. Gluten-Free By The Bay Says:

    Amazing! I am going to add this to next week’s Gluten-Free Recipe Roundup at my blog…

  2. Alix Landman Says:

    Hi Peter,

    Congrats on more great recipes and books. I use your books and recipes a lot. And talk to you when I am making them!!
    All is well here in FL.
    Lots of love,

    954-815-6559 cell

  3. chad Says:

    I can’t believe that the Peter Berley website that is linked here belongs to chef Peter Berley. The whole darn thing is written in Latin! This has to be a different Berley. I was hoping chef Berley had a website or blog but doesn’t seem to.


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