an adventure into my cookbook collection: soul-searching, doing things differently & the truths I learn along the way...

deseeding pomegranates is feminine & erotic, unless you hit them with a wooden spoon...


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Celeriac soup with smoked garlic

I don’t think I had ever even tried celeriac until I first made the Celeriac Sofrito at Rumi’s Kitchen, but now I am a little bit obsessed. I think that maybe it is because I feel a little like a Masterchef contestant every time I use it. This recipe is much more Masterchef-y than the sofrito, I suppose you could make it thicker and turn it into a puree – once you managed to get the hang of those artful little spoon-swipes they seem so fond of. It makes me wonder – do the contestants on Masterchef, especially Masterchef: Professionals, realise that everyone is making celeriac puree and spoon-swiping it? If I ever competed on Masterchef, I think that a tactic to winning might be to make something different to what everyone else was making. But that’s just me, and I love being contrary.
Don’t be put off by the smoked garlic – it isn’t difficult to get hold of. I found it in an Asda superstore in Bournemouth, two massive cloves in a box for £1.50. I’m keeping them in a ziplock bag for the time being, as the smoke smells incredibly intense. Their taste is much more subtle then the smell, and I really love it.
This soup is rich, thick and creamy, perfect for miserable weather days. I have been taking it into work for the past few days and it has definitely hit the spot.
Serves 4-6
1 celeriac, peeled and chopped into smallish chunks
1 large potato, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, diced
Cooking oil
1-2 cloves smoked garlic, smashed with the side of a heavy knife and chopped finely
1 vegetable stock cube, dissolved in a mug of hot water
2 bay leaves
½ tsp. paprika
2 tbsp. crème fraiche (optional)
½ tsp. dried tarragon (optional)
Salt and pepper
Boil the kettle.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion or a low-ish heat for 5-10 minutes, or until translucent and softened. Add the garlic and paprika and continue to fry for another few minutes, stir regularly to ensure that the garlic doesn’t burn and become acrid.
Once the onion and garlic are softened and smelling delicious, add the potato and celeriac to the pot, along with the mug of stock and bay leaves. With the water from the kettle, top the pot up so that the veggies are mostly covered (make sure that you have some decent ‘islands’ of celeriac poking through the top – you can always thin the soup down later). Add a pinch of salt and bring the whole thing to a boil. Once boiling, allow to simmer on a low heat with the lid on for 25-30 minutes, or until the veggies are soft.
Remove the bay leaves and blend the soup until smooth. Add more water at this point if the soup is too thick. Stir in the crème fraiche and tarragon if using, and season to taste with a little more salt if needed, and white or black pepper.
For an extra smoked garlic kick, serve the soup with the following bready things:
Smoked garlic croutons or
Make garlic bread by mashing a smoked garlic clove into butter, or
Roast a few cloves of smoked garlic whole (drizzle with olive oil) and squash them into some crostini.
With thanks to Kerstin Rodgers and Xanthe Clay for suggesting these ideas over Twitter.

No comments:

Post a Comment