I have lived most of my life in warm countries, and many places with barely perceptable changes of season. That has all changed. Living in the English countryside, the nuances of seasonal change are evident – and dramatic shifts too. Since we moved to England, the past couple of winters have been grey and drizzly but not especially cold. This winter is a proper one – frosty, icy, and today great billowing falls of snow all around. It is lovely to see the landscape draped in such a beautiful cloak of glittering white. Before the big snowfalls last night, we have had some amazingly lovely days, pale blue skies with an icing of frost. It makes up a bit for leaving the beautiful colours of the Caribbean.
After a bracing walk in the chilly countyside, a warming soup of celeriac and potatoes is just the thing.
Celeriac is a misunderstood and often maligned vegetable. We get organic veggie bags through our little boy’s school, and I frequently hear other parents complain about how often we get the celeriac and that they don’t know what to do with them. Well I love it. It has such a sweet creamy and nutty flavour and makes the most yummy gratins and soups. Here is a recipe for a simple and nourishing soup, garnished with a little crispy pancetta or bacon and some fresh herbs from the windowsill.
Celeriac, potato and onion soup
2 medium onions
1 clove garlic
knob of butter
1 large potato, peeled and roughly diced
1 medium celeriac, peeled and roughly diced
6-8 cups of chicken or veggie stock (can use a good quality cube)
dash of cream (optional)
crisply fried pancetta or bacon and some fresh herbs to enliven the presentation and tastebuds!
Gently sautee the onions and garlic in the butter in a medium pot. When they are soft and very slightly golden, add the potato, celeriac and stock. Simmer for about half and hour until all the vegies are tender.
Whiz up with a blender (if it is too thick add a little more water or stock) and add a dash of cream and a grind of black pepper if you like. Sprinkle over some crispy bacon and fresh herbs and serve with a good crusty bread.