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No idea what to do with a celeriac? It’s knarly, ugly and not something we grew up eating, but when chopped and simmered down in stock with a potato and a sharp green apple it makes a rich, creamy, complex and delicious soup that is just as excellent made as a big batch to enjoy for weekday lunches as it is served in small bowls to kick off a special meal: say hello to my creamy Celeriac Soup with Walnut Gremolata.
I made a lot of soups for lunch at the start of the year, and out of all of them that were simply ‘nice’ which I made, ate and moved on from, this Celeriac, Walnut & Green Apple Soup from Not Without Salt was the only one that was a keeper. But you don’t usually get celeriac sold in that size in British supermarkets (oddly, they’ve always been an Ocado order for me as I rarely see them in store, and I’ve never seen one in a local farmshop?) and I’m actually sort of allergic to walnuts, so while I love them and put up with how raw and puffy small amounts of them makes my tongue, while I’ll totally use them to make a delicious gremolata, blending them in the soup as well seemed to me like not the best idea after I’d tried it the first time.
So, here it is. My version of a Celeriac Soup, finished with a generous drizzle of truffle oil for a bit of added luxury in a way that pairs better here than it usually would in another creamy soup, and a punchy, zingy version of a gremolata inspired by Ashley’s, but made in the less precise way I usually do to sprinkle over River Cafe’s stunning Ossobucco in Bianco recipe or to top some slow cooked meat, but with added walnuts. Because walnuts are delicious even if my tongue says otherwise (and this seems to just be a walnuts from the supermarket thing too, I’ve never had a reaction to the walnuts that grew on the great tree outside the house we used to own in France?)
Regardless, I promise you that this is the recipe that is going to get you excited about cooking celeriac.
Rich, creamy and luxurious, this naturally vegan Celeriac Soup is topped with a punchy Walnut Gremolata for a soup that is simple enough for everyday, but also special enough for special occasions.
For the Celeriac Soup
1 brown onion
generous glug light oil
4 large garlic cloves
1 medium celeriac (approx. 650g / 1 1/2 lb)
1 granny smith apple
1 large potato
1 litre (4 cups) vegetable or chicken stock
freshly ground black pepper
truffle oil (optional)
For the Walnut Gremolata
1 small garlic clove
zest of 1/2 lemon
small handful walnut pieces
small handful flat leaf parsley
generous pinch flaky sea salt
Peel and chop the onion before gently frying until just golden with a pinch of sea salt in a glug of oil. You’ll want to be using a large saucepan set over a medium high heat for this.
Meanwhile peel and chop the celeriac, potato and the apple, discarding the latters core.
Peel and crush the garlic cloves, adding them to the pan and stirring until just fragrant.
Add the celeriac, potato, apple and stock. Bring to the boil, season well and reduce the heat to a low simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes until the celeriac cubes are tender.
Meanwhile, to make the gremolata peel and finely chop the garlic clove. Add to it the lemon zest, the walnuts and the parsley, both finely chopped, and the flaky sea salt, crushing it gently between your fingers to break it up a little. Mix well.
Blitz the soup until smooth using an immersion blender. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, and serve in warm bowls sprinkled with the gremolata, and topped with swirls of truffle oil, if liked.
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