Ginger is used in Dominican cooking in desserts and the ever-welcome ginger tea. It is not a traditional part of our savory cuisine. I’ve set out to change that, starting with this Cream of Celeriac and Ginger Soup.
OK, that would be a bit too ambitious. But in the meantime let me share with you the many ways in which we use ginger at home. Not having ginger for us would be as rare as not having oregano or garlic, and in contrast with the Dominican tradition, more often than not we use it in savory dishes.
The first celery root (or celeriac) recipe that we published was found by Aunt Ilana in the high mountains and colder climate of the Central Mountain Range (Cordillera Central), where the temperature allows for this crop. Going to the other extreme, Aunt Ilana brought us the news that “green” ginger was grown in Samana.
What a great way to combine the flavors of our cold(ish) mountains and our beautiful coast!
And to add a bit of my own culinary heritage I added thyme, an obligatory ingredient in soups and stews in the northwest of the Dominican Republic, where I hail from.
The result of all this mixing? A creamy soup, light but filling and with a very refreshing taste provided by the ginger, and the earthy tones of fresh thyme.
Hmm, that sounded too highfaluting. What I meant to say was “it was fantastic, and I ate two bowls”. So, there.
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- ½ cup of ginger, peeled and sliced
- 1 large onion, cubed
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon of dry leaves
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 2 lb [0.9 kg] celeriac, peeled and cubed
- 1½ quart [1½ lt] of vegetable stock
- 1½ teaspoons of salt (or more, to taste)
- ½ teaspoon of pepper (or more, to taste)
- Heat the oil in a large pot over low heat. Add ginger and cook and stir for a minute. Add onion and thyme and cook and stir until onions becomes translucent.
- Stir in carrot and celeriac, cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stir often to prevent them from burning or sticking to the bottom. Add vegetable stock, cook over low heat until the vegetables are tender.
- Remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Remove the thyme sprigs and blend to desired smoothness (I prefer it not too "creamy").
- Reheat in a deep pot, adding more water if necessary.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.