Chic Bicycle Helmets & Warm Celery Soup

I confess: I ride my bike everyday, and I do it without a helmet. I've been holding out for over 6 months, searching in vain for a bicycle helmet that doesn't bear any likeness to the hot-pink, splatter painted braincase of my 90210-smitten early biking years. Is it too much to ask that this essential item in my daily commutes not invite speculation that a small, gnarled, plastic UFO has landed upon my head or that I'm a rejected Mad Max extra?

Apparently not, if these chic little bike helmets below have anything to say about it.

Where the Bern helmet above is simple and sporty, for a girl who lives in J Crew sweaters and jeans, these Yakka covers have a dashing air, for the girl who rides a little too fast, leaving a trail of Chanel no. 31 and dried leaves in her wake.

The Luzern cover, from the same company, has a completely different feel. Think Dr. Zhivago mixed with a healthy heap of Russian junior fashion editor.

Kyle Ferguson for Lacoste

Oh how I love this helmet! It was designed by Kyle J. Ferguson, who set out to make a helmet that was equal parts fashionable and eco-friendly(it's made out of sustainable cork!). So far, it doesn't seem to be in production, but when it does, I'll be the first in line to plop it on my head.

Oh, you thought I'd leave with all these visions of beautiful bicycle safety and no food porn? Mais non!

I've been slurping(and tweaking) this celery soup for a month or so now; it's warm, comforting, and hearty, thanks to the inclusion of a barley mix. The celery pesto that tops the soup is so highly addictive, I can't stop myself from scooping up bites straight from the food processor on hunks of bread for a pre-dinner nosh! The soup can be rendered light and clear, or thickened to a creamier consistency with the switch of one simple ingredient. Perfect for warming up after a brisk bike ride in the autumn.

Celery and Harvest Grains Soup with
Celery Pesto

1 white onion
4 small-medium carrots
2 medium sized Yukon potatoes
10 medium-length stalks of celery, scrubbed and removed of tops
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 cups organic vegetable broth (or water)
(use the best veggie broth you can afford-it will make a big difference in the taste of this soup)
2 cups cooked harvest grain mix (barley, orzo, wild brown rice, or wheat berries will all be lovely in this soup)

For Celery Pesto:

1/2 cup celery tops, reserved from celery

1 clove garlic

1 TBSP olive oil

Parmesan cheese, finely shredded

Note: You can substitute veggie STOCK for broth to make a thicker, stronger soup, as pictured above. Use the same amount, and add water to modify the consistency to taste. Using broth will make a clearer, lighter soup, with a slightly more astringent flavor.

To make the celery pesto, remove the celery tops from the celery stalks you will be using in the soup. Organic celery is the best for this pesto, as the tops are fully matured, leafy and super flavorful. Pack the leaves loosely in a food processor (or blender), with the garlic clove and olive oil. Add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Pulse the mix until it has come together to a roughly pureed form. Set aside.

Chop the onion, potato, carrots, and celery roughly, into about 1/2 inch cubes. Try to keep all the vegetable pieces about the same size, as this will insure uniform cooking.

Prepare and cook your chosen harvest grain( we used a blend of Israeli couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa) according to instructions. Set aside. Put a large soup or stew pot over medium high heat and combine the olive oil, onion, potato, carrots, celery and a throw in a few pinches of sea salt. Saute for about ten minutes or so, stirring to distribute ever so often, until the celery and onions soften. Stir in the garlic and add the stock. Bring to a simmer and let cook for another 10 minutes or until the celery, carrot and potatoes are just cooked through and tender. Do not overcook! You don't want a soggy vegetable mush. Stir in the pre-cooked grains. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle with a bright green dash of celery pesto. Top with a fine shaving of parmesan cheese. Try not to spill soup down your new shirt as you take huge whiffs of the delicious aroma coming from your soup bowl.

Recipe modified from the always-inspiring 101 Cookbooks


  1. Aren't they just? I want the Yukka Cambridge helmet for christmas so much I might just gift it to myself, international shipping rates be damned!