What’s better than a bowl of hot soup to warm and cheer the soul? Celeriac is a favourite vegetable of mine, earthy undertones interwoven with nutty, fruity notes, more subtle than the sometimes astringent celery stalk. Soup is one of my favourite ways to use it, especially when partnered with an apple, the sweet/sharp fruit brings an uplifting quality to the mellow celery flavour.
Soften a sliced onion in rapeseed oil and butter until golden, add finely sliced celeriac and apples, thyme, season with salt and white pepper. The trick here is to initially cook the soup in the barest minimum of liquid under a cartouche, on a low flame, a process that really concentrates the flavour. After 25-30 there should be a soft tender mass. Pour over some vegetable stock or water to just cover, simmer briefly about five to 10 minutes, the soup can now be blended. Correct the seasoning and loosen with more water or stock if needed. I usually make my soups on the thicker side, purely because it’s easier to thin a soup than it is to thicken.
So what’s better than a warming bowl of soup? One with cheese on toast of course. A crouton, toasted, smeared rather meanly with dijon mustard then topped with grated Old Winchester cheese, an English alternative to Parmesan, which also happens to be vegetarian. A good addition sitting very well with the celery and apple flavour.
A good end to the half celeriac and last nugget of cheese in my fridge.