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The Best New Cookbooks

Our top 6 favorites are bound to please someone on your list (including you). Sample 5 recipes from the books

Hearty Celery Root and Red Lentil Soup

Adapted from Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden by Todd Porter and Diane Cu (Stewart Tabori & Chang, 2013)

Serves 4 to 6

A one-pot soup meal — studded with chunks of celery root, salted with bacon, fragranced with sage and laced with quick-cooking red lentils — is all we need to welcome the cold days. If you've never had celery root before, we encourage you to try it. It has the texture of a potato, with the bright flavor of fresh, green celery. Note: For a thicker soup, use 1/2 cup red lentils.

  • 1 medium celery root, about 1 pound
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 2-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and crushed whole
  • 2 to 3 small sage leaves
  • 1/4 cup red lentils
  • Salt

Cut the celery root into bite-size pieces.

Heat a medium pot over medium heat, add the bacon, and cook until the fat is rendered. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and sage leaves. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

Add 4 cups water and the celery root, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low.

Cook for 15 minutes, or until the celery root is almost tender. Add the lentils and cook until they are soft, about 20 minutes, and the celery root is cooked through. (Some cooks prefer lentils whole and firm rather than soft and mushy, so adjust time accordingly.) Taste for seasoning and add salt if necessary. Serve hot.

Candy Sagon is an editor and health writer for AARP Media.

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