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Celery root

Celeriac, Sweet Potato & Leek Soup + Lessons of Letting Go

Soup, Lunch, DinnerLina LiwagComment

Hello and Happy New Year! As you may have noticed, I was MIA for the whole month of December.  It was never my intention to do that.   In fact I had plans for at least 2-3 posts before the year was over. However, things took a life of their own so to speak.  Before I knew it, the month was done and over with.  Welcome to  2014!

Nothing really major happened in the big scheme of things if you asked me.  But somehow even  small  or insignificant matters can take a lot of our time and energy.   Sometimes, they even test our very core.

To me this came in the form of technology malfunction that happened all at the same time: our fairly new desktop computer (we have no spare lap tops), our home telephone and internet connections.  This took place in the midst of the two busy weeks at my work, record high snowfalls and frigid temps of the season.

At the onset, I thought they could all be fixed quickly and I would then have time for my projects but boy, was I ever wrong!  It took almost 3 weeks, 3 visits from 3 different technicians and countless calls to customer service managers  before our phone and internet started working properly...with no more interruptions.

And while I was going through my technology pains and as the city was continually being inundated with snow and even at one point blanketed in tons of ice that we’ve never seen before, I was making soups.  Soups to warm me and my family.  And after a month when our iMac is now as good as new…many thanks to Pat, the tech genius of the family… here is my first post of the year!  So forgive me as this is rather a long one.



For me personally,  this is not the time to do a “Detox.”  I find that I can handle that better in the Spring as the weather gets warmer.  I still make green juices at least 3 times a week but my body feels balanced with more warming foods in the winter.  I learned this through the guidance of my Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner as I was going through rough times in my health. 

This soup is a winning combination of celeriac, sweet potatoes and leeks.  Celeriac is that root vegetable that looks hairy, knobbly and rather uninteresting like the photo above.  It is the root of the celery plant so it's also known as celery root. It has a mild celery-like flavour with starchy consistency when cooked.   Did you know that this is a great source of Vitamin K and essential minerals such as phosphorus ,iron, calcium, copper, and manganese?


Celeriac, Sweet Potato & Leek Soup 

1 medium size celeriac,washed, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
(approximately 3 cups)
1 big  or 2 small sweet potato, washed, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
(approximately 1  1/2  cups)
1 leek, washed and chopped, white and light green part only
1  1/2" ginger, grated
thyme leaves from 3 sprigs
1 Tbsp. coriander powder
2 tsp. turmeric
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
Himalayan pink salt to taste
6-7 cups water or vegetable broth (or a combination of both)
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (see other options below)
1 -2 tsp. pepper flakes 

1. In a big stock pan, saute the leeks in coconut oil until they soften.  Add the ginger, thyme, coriander powder and turmeric and let the flavours incorporate.
2. Combine the celery, celeriac and sweet potato and stir for a minute or so.  Pour the liquid, add some salt and let it boil then lower heat to simmer until the root vegetables are cooked, about 15-18 minutes.  
3. Adjust the taste and add the milk.
4. Blend by using a hand blender or in batches using a blender.
5. Before serving,  sprinkle with pepper flakes.


1.  This is a large soup and great for leftovers.  Please feel free to cook half of the recipe if required.
2. You can substitute cauliflower if celeriac is not available and adjust the liquid (5 cups)  and  less cooking time .
3.  I've used almond, cashew and coconut milk in the past and they all worked well.  It all depends on your taste.  1/2 avocado can  also be substituted for creaminess.  If preferred, not adding any of these is also fine .


Deep Freeze in Toronto


So what did I learn through these situations?  “Let go and let God.”    We live in a world where everything must always be done fast and according to our own timing and schedule.   There is so much liberation from letting go!  Of course I was frustrated and at times angry with my phone and internet provider.   Then one day as I was feeling so stressed about the whole thing,  I stopped and prayed...first for my heart  then secondly for the situation and left it all to the Lord.

This scripture at Philippians 4:67 reminds us:  “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition with THANKSGIVING, present your request to God.  And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Thanksgiving in the midst of stress, how is that possible?  Well it’s part of letting go and letting God.

 Amazing how everything started to fall into place.  I interacted with amazing managers and technicians who were empathetic and kind. Although it took almost 3 weeks, the company sent Thasan, one of their their most senior technicians.   On that  3rd visit, he was able figure out the root cause of our problem. We now even have his direct line in case something may happen again in the future.

As for our desktop, I just had to wait for my brother-in-law to be able to come by (he lives on the other side of the city).  I didn’t have to bring the computer to the Apple store and spend money for the repair.  He even made it more efficient by updating and simplifying what’s in there.  To tech-challenged people like my husband and I, this is priceless!

I hope you have your own lessons from 2013.  May I leave you with more verses from the bible that have become my inspirations lately. These last ones were from a message delivered last Sunday by Mark Kang.  Mark is an evangelist from our church in Milwaukee who was visiting his relatives during the holiday.  He also shared this powerful video that you can find on this link.  This is called the “Invisible Woman” by Nicole Johnson.  This is so moving... a reminder that it's not always about me but all about HIM.  I hope you too will get inspired!

Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit,
for anger resides in the lap of fools.

Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?”
For it is not wise to ask such questions.

Ecclesiastes 7:9-10


May your 2014 be filled with great lessons in life!