Now let's be honest, poor old celeriac isn't the prettiest veg in the patch is it? The bit that comes out of the ground looks like some kind of Star Wars creature that hangs out in that smoky bar. And while we're being honest, I honestly didn't know what celeriac was until I went to the UK for the first time a few years ago. For those of you that aren't familiar it's a big root vegetable that smells a bit like celery and once peeled has a similar texture to pumpkin. It has a kind of nutty flavour and is often mashed or pureed.
I recently had a beautiful dinner at Añada and as part of our tasting menu they served a celeriac soup which was truly lovely, so I decided to serve up one for the Soup Cookbook Challenge. I am a week ahead for this particular meal but I am so far behind I need to jump back and forth to catch up and try and cover all the bases. Forgive me...?
Also this post is very special because What's For Tea? has turned 1! That's right, this little blog has been around for a year a now - so thank YOU for reading and commenting and sharing your recipes - as well as spreading the Kulinary Karma! I couldn't do it without you so some big ones of these MWAH x!
Now on with the soup. The recipe comes from the current issue of delicious magazine and serves 4. (It is teamed with some smoked trout toasties in the magazine but I didn't bother with those.)
3 potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
600ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped
2tbs butter (you can use olive oil but I think soup needs butter)
1 onion, chopped
4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1/2tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
1tsp celery seeds (I didn't use these as I didn't have any and wasn't braving the cold to go and get them)
Put potatoes in a large pot and pour in stock and water. Bring to the boil, add the celeriac and then simmer for 20 minutes.
In another pot or pan, melt the butter over a medium heat and add the onion and celery. Cook stirring for 10 minutes or until soft. Add to the pot that's holding the other ingredients and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Blend the soup in batches or if you're like me, let it cool a little and then just whizz with the hand held blender while it's still in the pot.
Season with the nutmeg and pepper and serve.
This soup was super quick and easy and really velvety when blended. I found that I needed a little bit more liquid than listed in the recipe but I think that's because my potatoes were on the large size. The recipe also calls for some celeriac to be removed from the pot at the 20 minute mark so that you can chop it up and stir it through the finished product, but I didn't bother with this.
I also substituted the cayenne for smoked paprika as I wanted to have a slightly Spanish style dish, similar to the one that inspired me in the first place. It worked well but the flavours are quite subtle so I understand the logic in using the cayenne to give it some kick.