There appears to be a predilection for chefs to either deconstruct a classic or serve a key item in multiple guises, rarely to the improvement of the original. I prefer my food simply cooked and presented so that it is the quality of the ingredients which impress me not the chef’s pretensions.
My Celeriac Soup 3 Ways is just three recipes with slightly different approaches.
Warm and comforting
- 25g (1oz) butter
- 400g (14oz) celeriac, peeled and chopped
- 125g (4½oz) potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 570ml (1 pint) vegetable or light chicken stock
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- Melt the butter and cook the onions, celeriac, potatoes and garlic gently for 5 minutes
- Add the stock and lemon juice and simmer gently until the vegetables are soft
- Purée and pass through a sieve
- Taste and season with salt and freshly ground pepper
- Adjust to the required consistency with either stock or milk
- Add the chopped parsley and gently reheat
Sophisticated, silky and smooth
Make the basic soup recipe as above as far as step 5. Then adjust the to the required consistency using cream (double, single or crème fraiche according to taste) and garnish with either toasted walnuts and a swirl of walnut oil, shavings of blue cheese, or fine shavings of truffle or a swirl of truffle oil. If you can find or afford truffles, use sparingly or you will mask the flavour of the celeriac.
Robust and rustic
This wonderful recipe was discovered in Nigel Slater’s The kitchen diaries II and is now a firm lunch time favourite. You may wish to adjust the amount of mustard depending on your taste and type of mustard you use.
- 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
- 25g butter
- 120g bacon (smoked or plain)
- 800g celeriac, peeled and grated
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 1 litre water
- 4 teaspoons grain mustard
- thyme – leaves from 3 sprigs
- parsley – small bunch, chopped
- Melt the butter, add the onions and cook until translucent (10-15 minutes)
- Add the bacon and cook until the bacon fat is golden and the onions are soft
- Add the grated celeriac, thyme, a pinch of salt and then the stock and water
- Cover the pan and simmer for about 30 minutes and then stir in the mustard
- Add the parsley, adjust the seasoning and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Put half the soup in a liquidiser and blend until almost smooth
- Return to the pan, check the seasoning, gently reheat and serve