Celeriac. The name isn’t inviting, and neither does this odd looking vegetable particularly look it either. But pickings are a bit slim at the market this time of year, and having read a little feature on this versatile vegetable from delicious magazine (as well as pledged to myself to try new ingredients sometimes), I decided to give it, and one of their recipes, a go.
First tings first: peeling and cutting this thing isn’t easy! Allow plenty of time, because it’s awkward.
I can’t find the recipe online (although this one is quite similar). Here’s how to make my version, based on the recipe from delicious‘ January issue:
- Fry ~100g diced pancetta in a bit of butter and then set aside.
- Peel and chop a large celeriac (they say 750g, mine was bigger than this so I only used about 2/3 of it). Note that this will take some time!
- Dice a shallot or small onion and then add it to a pot along with a bit of butter or oil. After a few minutes, add in the chopped celeriac along with 1L chicken stock and a bay leaf.
- Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the celeriac is tender.
- Meanwhile, toast a handful of hazelnuts in a pan and then chop roughly.
- When the soup is ready, blend until smooth, and garnish with your choice of pancetta, hazelnuts, chives, creme fraiche, and/or chives.
When I asked H. whether he liked it, he didn’t respond right away. I think he was trying to formulate a response based along these lines: this soup isn’t the best you’ll ever have, but it is economical, seasonal, and tasty.