I would probably have nothing to do with celeriac if it weren’t for the organic box. But last week, it arrived, and I kept it right at the very front of my fridge so I’d be forced to remember its existence and actually do something with it.
I made this soup because it was dead simple and cream-free (nothing against cream, but I just don’t like to eat a bowl full of cream for lunch because it makes me feel like, well, a bowl full of cream). And having made this soup, I can now safely confirm that I am a mega huge celeriac fan – this soup was freakishly good.
Leek, celeriac, celery, onion and potato get sauteed in a bit of butter (or oil for vegans), then boiled in stock, then blitzed – pretty basic, but so beyond special. I do think the Vitamix had a role to play in its amazingness – the super-power blender pureed the boiled vegetables into the silkiest soup ever – it definitely didn’t need cream.
The parsley pesto is also a win – delicious, vegan and quite useful beyond the soup. Today I mixed it with some cooked pearl barley to use in some stuffed portobello mushrooms – dinner was ready in 20 minutes. And with a stash of celeriac soup in the freezer, I’m totally all set for quick meals of amazement, particularly lunch, which doesn’t usually lend itself to full-scale cookathons.
Celeriac Soup with Parsley Walnut Pesto
Adapted from River Cottage’s recipes for celeriac soup and parsley walnut pesto. The soup is pretty darn good on its own, but the pesto certainly makes it extra special.
For the soup:
- 25g Butter (or oil for vegans!)
- 1 Celeriac, peeled and cubed
- 1 Potato, peeled and cubed
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 1 Leek, trimmed, washed and roughly sliced
- 1 Onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 Garlic clove, sliced
- 1 litre vegetable stock
For the parsley pesto:
- 100g walnuts, toasted
- 1 fat garlic clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 50g flat-leaf parsley leaves
- About 150ml good olive oil (or extra-virgin rapeseed oil)
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pesto:
Put the walnuts and garlic into a food processor and process until finely chopped – but still with some granular texture. Add the cheese and process again briefly. Add the parsley and blitz again to chop the leaves, then begin trickling in the oil, while the processor runs. Stop when you have a sloppy purée. Taste, season as necessary with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Store in the fridge – if you completely cover the surface of the pesto with oil so all air is excluded, it should keep for a couple of weeks.
For the soup:
Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based pot over a medium-low heat. Add the celeriac, leek, potato, garlic and onion, season generously, and gently sweat the vegetables until they’re all starting to soften (this will take about 10 minutes).
Add the stock, bring the soup up to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the celeriac is completely tender. Liquidise until smooth, return to the pan and reheat over a medium flame. Just before serving, check the soup for seasoning and serve with a drizzle of pesto.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20-30 minutes
Per serving of soup (not including pesto: 198 Calories | 6 grams Fat | 33.1 grams Carbohydrates | 5.5 grams Protein | 6.6 grams Fiber