Root vegetables are so bountiful at this time of year that I like to incorporate them in my cooking as much as possible. Celeriac may not win any prizes for appearance but it definitely holds it’s weight for taste.
I came across this very straightforward recipe fairly recently, courtesy of Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall, the exuberant, charming and bucolic, English cook. The cherry on the cake, so as to speak, for the recipe is undoubtedly the homemade walnut and parsley pesto, which you can dollop on the top and swirl into the soup. The combination of the celeriac with the walnut and parsley works a treat and gives the soup an added dimension, which I think is necessary. If you make a big batch of the pesto you can store it in the fridge ready for another day and combine it with some fresh pasta or some meat or fish – it is so versatile. It’s a perfect recipe for a starter or a light lunch. Do you have any other winning recipes using celeriac? I’d love to hear what they are, do share!
For Fearnley-Whittingstall original recipe click here
1 celeriac, peeled and cubed
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
1 leek, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 litre of chicken/vegetable stock
1. Melt the butter in a large pot and add the celeriac, potato, onion, leek and garlic and leave to gently sweat for around 10 minutes. Add a good sprinkling of salt and pepper at this stage.
2. Add the stock and bring the soup to the boil before turning down to simmer once again for a further 20-30 minutes. Check that the vegetables have softened and then liquidise until smooth – I used a hand blender.
(Don’t you just love the military precision of the celeriac, leeks and potatoes respectively ;o)
Walnut and Parsley Pesto
For Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall original recipe click here
Serves 8 (generous dollops on top of the soup)
1 garlic, chopped
50g flat leaf parsley leaves
150 ml of good olive oil
juice of half a lemon
sea salt and black pepper
1. Place the walnuts and garlic into a food processor and blend until finely chopped.
2. Add the grated parmesan and blend briefly, before adding the parsley and blend until it is finely chopped. This will not take any more than 10 seconds.
3. Gradually pour in the olive oil whilst the processor is running, a little at a time. It will begin to take on a puree consistency.
4. Add the lemon and add more olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper to taste.
5. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.