It’s no secret that winter is the perfect time to rug up, slow down and gorge on filling and nutritious soups. Part of the reason that I like winter is for the different foods it beckons. Although western societies have become accustomed to eating out of season, with greater access to all fruits and vegetables thanks to gardening and produce technology, and global export/import industries, soup is the one thing that most people will still navigate towards when the weather cools down and the rain and wind sets in.
Homemade soup is also a great way of adding more of the good stuff into your diet. You can pretty much turn any vegetable into soup with a bit of stock and a stick blender. Although, I have my preferences (like root veggies over minestrones and broth soups). It’s also a great way to introduce new vegetables into your diet, such is how this celeriac soup came about.
Celeriac, or celery root, is a variety of celery that is grown for the bulbous root, rather than the leafy green top (although these can also be eaten). As I am not much of a celery fan, I was hesitant to give this a go when I came across the white gnarly looking globe at my local Farmers Market. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how different the taste is. Celeriac has a milder, earthier flavour than celery, and it can be prepared much the same way as potato, only it’s starch free.
Given it’s low caloric constitution, celeriac can be considered a nutrition powerhouse, packing in plenty of vitamins and minerals. It’s high in Vitamin K, B, phosphorus, iron, calcium, copper and manganese.
I always make a big batch of soup, portion it out and freeze in separate containers (or zip lock bags) so that I only need to defrost what I want to eat. The below recipe will make 4 generous serves.
- 1 Tbsp olive or grape seed oil
- 2 leeks, sliced
- 1 large celeriac, peeled and cut into even sized chunks
- 1 – 1.5 litres of vegetable stock (depending on the size of your celeriac)
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 3- 4 bay leaves
Don’t be too precious about slicing and cutting, the soup will end up pureed anyway.
I used 1.3 Litres of veg stock because I had a large celeriac, but mostly because that’s how high my measuring jug measures!
In a large heavy set pot with a lid (I use a cast iron one), heat the oil over medium heat and add the sliced leek to sweat for about 5 minutes.
Add the sliced celeriac and stir to combine. Cover with enough stock so that the ingredients are swimming (the more you add, the thinner your soup will turn out) and turn the heat to high, bringing to the boil.
Once boiling, drop the heat down to low to simmer and drop in the rosemary and bay. Pop on the lid and allow to simmer until the celeriac is cooked through and soft (about 20 – 30 mins).
Now, some people might choose to remove the bay and rosemary, but I like to be hard core with my flavours and leave them in. With a stick blender, puree the soup until smooth.