More and more persons turn by vegetarian, we have had to use more imagination in designing vegetarian meals at my restaurant, The [WORD ILLEGIBLE] When we opened 15 years ago, someone might have asked for a vegetarian dinner once every few [WORD ILLEGIBLE] Now hardly a day passes that [WORD ILLEGIBLE] have at least a couple of vegetarians, sometimes groups of them. Talking to other restaurateurs and food writers, I can see that our situation is not unique. Vegetarianism is much more than a fad.

[WORD ILLEGIBLE] a meal is always a great challenge Shapes, colors textures, fragrances, tastes and temperatures must mix and match, contrast and complement, to make the whole meal interesting and satisfying. To do this without using meat and meat products [WORD ILLEGIBLE] more difficult.

Here is a vegetarian meal for four. I think it can he served by a vegetarian couple entertaining nonvegetarian [WORD ILLEGIBLE] vice versa, so that everyone enjoys well-balanced meal. It include eggs, milk and milk products, which most vegetarians will eat. Those who are even more lenient and occasionally incorporate fish in their diet can use fish as the main course instead of [WORD ILLEGIBLE] fried vegetable I suggest.

You can use this meal as a model in designing similar meals in which hot and cold, soft and crisp, spicy and mild dishes comptement each other. Vegetarian Onion Soup with Cheese Croutons Celery Root Salad Breaded Mock Chops Green Beans Carrot Souffle Fresh Fruits and Cheese VEGETARIAN ONION SOUP WITH CHEESE CROUTONS

(Serves 4) 3 tablespoons oil or shortening 1/2 cup grated carrots 1/2 cup sliced celery 2 tablespoons finely minced onions Salt to taste 1 teaspoon sugar Freshly ground black pepper to taste Pinch garlic salt 2 cups thinly sliced onions 6 cups cold water 1 vegetable bouillon cube, optional 4 tablespoons grated Swiss cheese mixed with 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan and 1/4 teaspoon paprika 4 slices toast

In a heavy pot, heat shortening until very hot. Add carrots, celery, mined onions, salt, sugar, pepper and garlic salt. Stir over high heat 4 to 5 minutes, or until carrots start to brown. Add onions, reduce heat to low and stir to combine vegetables. Add 6 cups cold water, increase heat to medium, and simmer about 1 hour. Let stand and correct seasoning if necessary. If you wish, stir in a vegetable bouillon cube.

Pile cheese mixture on toast slices, dividing it evenly. Just before serving, brown cheese toast in a preheated broiler for a few seconds, until it starts to bubble and melt. Place slices on top of four servings of soup and serve at once. CELERY ROOT SALAD

(Serves 4) 2 medium celery roots or celeriacM 10 to 14 ounces total Juice and rind of 1/2 lemon 1 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar Pinch of white pepper 1 cup vinegar 3 1/2 to 4 cups water 4 large lettuce leaves

Wash celery roots with a brush and peel. Slice water thin and place in a saucepan with all remaining ingredents except lettuce leaves. Cover, bring to a boil over medium heat, and simmer until fork tender. Cool a few minutes and strain.

Discard lemon rind. When celery root cools completely, transfer to a glass or plastic dish with enough cooking liquid to barely cover, and refrigerate at least 4 hours. To serve, strain and arrange slices on lettuce leaves. Serve with lemon wedge or a spoon of mayonnaise.

Celery root or celeriac is available throughout the United States roughly from October through March. If you cannot find it at your grocer's, ask the produce manager to get it for you. It has many, many uses.