Šelinka, A Slovenian Celery Stew #EattheWorld
Welcome to the February 2023 event of our #EattheWorld project, being spearheaded by Evelyne of CulturEatz. Here's her challenge. This month she has us heading, by tabletop, to Slovenia.
On the Map
Okay, I can admit that I had to remind myself where Slovenia was on that map. I mean, when I took a Geography class in high school, it wasn't a sovereign nation. For most of the 20th century, Slovenia was a part of Yugoslavia. For a majority of its history, the country was controlled by the Habsburgs of Austria and the coastal lands were ruled, for a time, by Venice. When the Yugoslav federation fell in 1991, a multi-party democratic political system emerged. Here are some fun facts to know...
There are more than 10,000 caves in Slovenia. The best known, Postojna, runs for around 12 miles.
Slovenians love their wine. In fact, there’s a vineyard for every 70 people throughout the country. And the world's oldest vine is located in Maribor. Žametovka is a red grape variety that dates back over 400-years and still produces grapes today.
Slovenia's capital, Ljubljana, translates to 'The Loved One.'
The Other Offerings
Here are the other Slovenia dishes from the #EattheWorld bloggers...
Culinary Cam: Šelinka, A Slovenian Celery Stew (You're here)
Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Slovenian Flatbread (Belokranjska Pogača)
Magical Ingredients: Vegan Slovenian Jota
Sneha’s Recipe: Pražene Gobe z Jajci
A Day in the Life on the Farm: Zganci (Poor Man’s Food)
In My Bowl
Šelinka, or šjelna, is a Slovenian celery soup originating from the Vipava area. Traditionally it was served as an easy dinner, accompanied by polenta. I couldn't really find a recipe despite being able to find plenty of photos. So I just made up my own process, using celery root, celery stalks, and celery leaves. And I served it with toasted bread instead of polenta.
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 cups celeriac, peeled and diced
1 cup celery, diced plus at least 2 Tablespoons celery leaves, chopped
1 cup potatoes, diced
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste
crumbled sheep's milk cheese for serving (optional)
Heat olive oil in a large soup pot. Add in the garlic and heat until aromatic, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.
Stir in the celery root and cook until fork tender, approximately 15 minutes. Add in the celery and potatoes.
Pour in the stock and wine. Bring liquid to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, approximately 15 minutes.
Add in the beans and simmer until warmed through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold in the celery leaves, reserving a few for garnish.
Spoon into individual serving bowls. Top with crumbled sheep's milk cheese, if using. Garnish with a few more celery leaves.
That's a wrap for my Slovenian offering for February's Eat the World. I can't wait to see where Evelyne has us headed next month. Stay tuned!