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.
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’.
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.