This week I've chosen a celeriac and bacon soup which is in The Kitchen Diaries II (it's also available on The Guardian website too). I'd bought a celeriac and bacon and it was a case of finding a recipe to match - I was pretty sure that these were a good if not standard matching - I found way more celeriac and apple recipes - so I was pretty confident of finding a recipe. And I did. Nigel Slater's recipes always make me smile as there's always some room for leeway - I mean, how do I know that my interpretation of a "thick slice of butter" is similar enough? I'm banking on the fact I cook enough to know what feels right.
Unusually I (or rather we) prepared and cooked this recipe one evening to take for lunch the next day. And it was cooked alongside our tea that evening so a times it was a bit frantic in the kitchen. MOH was complaining of being cold and said it was alright for me as I was in a nice warm kitchen. At which point he was roped in, merely to warm him up!
So with the diced onions softening and the bacon frying, it was time to tackle the celeriac. Nigel says to peel these and roughly grate them. Peeling no problem, grating - well I'd contemplated using the food processor but I only have a fine grating attachment so I was in two minds. Then remembering MOH was cold... what better than grating some celeriac to warm him up?
So with no escape clause he started grating. By hand. He hadn't realised just how much celeriac there was and was quickly bored and to be fair running out of bowl for the newly grated vegetable. What I hadn't anticipated was that "roughly grate" was code for "spray roughly grated celeriac around your whole kitchen" - however as it was MOH that was grating, then he quickly volunteered himself for a second job clearing up too! And he was much less cold by now too - so win, win!
With most of the celeriac in the pan along with some thyme, salt, some chicken stock and water the soup simmered for thirty minutes before I added some whole grain mustard and chopped parsley.
At this stage I let it cool - and we ate our tea - which was handy as I'm not keen on adding hot soups to the food processor. I find that some sauces/soups - especially tomato-based ones and anything with turmeric in tend to stain the mixing bowl and it's worse when it's hot liquid, I don't know why. Although this had neither of those I didn't blitz it until it was cool. And then only half of it, before returning it to the pan. Then just before bed a portion went into this microwaveable soup mug and the rest went into freezer containers ready for future lunches.
- Next time I'll remember to use the food processor, I may even have remembered to buy a rough grating attachment. It'd definitely be worth it.
- Blending half of the soup worked well. It left some texture but also added a smoothness. Nigel says you can add cream to this soup, we didn't and didn't find that we needed it.
- This soup is deceivingly filling, which is a good thing! It also freezes well and we got five portions from it. It's definitely being made again at some point. Thanks Nigel!