I’m making a lot of soups at the moment, partly because it’s winter and I need comfort food and partly because I seem to end up with a lot of odds and sods that need using up. The tangy cheese is a great foil here for the creamy soup. I added a little leftover Gruyere to mine too, still hanging around from the French onion soup I made recently.
A quick look on Wikipedia tells me that the celeriac ‘can last three to four months if stored between 0° and 5° C and if not allowed to dry out’ – can you believe that?! What a trooper! I can imagine it now, every time the fridge is opened the celeriac is still sitting there, unblemished by time, begging to be eaten – until someone says, ‘we really should be doing something with that knobbly thing in the fridge’ Although there are a hundred different things to do with the humble root, think remoulade, gratin, mash, rosti, chips etc etc, I think the good old soup is something I’ll keep coming back to.
Celeriac Soup with Parsley Oil and Lancashire Cheese Toasts (Serves 4)
1 smallish celeriac
2 small carrots
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
2 pints good quality vegetable stock
3-4 tablespoons single cream
1 bay leaf
A knob of butter
Salt and pepper
For the Oil
1 small bunch flatleaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped
Olive oil, extra virgin or not is up to you (I wouldn’t be tempted to use very-strong flavoured extra virgin here, it will overpower the parsley too much)
For the toasts
8 slices baguette or similar bread, cut on a slight diagonal
Grated Lancashire cheese
– Chop the celeriac and carrots into cubes and roughly dice the onion.
– Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the butter to a pan and gently cook the veggies until they just start to colour. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes more.
– Add the stock, bay leaf and some seasoning, give everything a good stir and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, put a lid on and simmer for around 20 minutes until the veggies are soft.
– Meanwhile, make the parsley oil by chopping the parsley and adding enough oil to make it into a loose sauce.
– Lightly toast the bread on one side, then turn over, add the cheese and toast again until golden and bubbling.
– Remove the bay leaf from the soup and puree until smooth.
– Add 3-4 tablespoons of single cream, check the seasoning, ladle into bowls and drizzle the parsley oil on top.
– Serve with the Lancashire toasts.