As far as root vegetables go, celeriac performs rather admirably as a base ingredient for soup – its creamy texture makes for a very satisfying spoonful, while its strong flavour pairs favourably with all manner of foods. The robust flavourings of Thai cuisine, in particular, combine remarkably well with this enlarged hypocotyl (celeriac isn’t actually a root, though it does have them) – hence this particular recipe.
It has to be said that creamy soups are by far my favourite – give me something smooth and silken to eat and you’re likely to have one happy Welshman on your rather unfortunate hands – providing your offering is also delicious. In my previous recipe for celeriac soup – which I’m pleased to say had proved very popular – I added a little single cream. However, I found that with this rendition a pint or so of whole milk sufficed, lowering the fat content and perhaps even improving the texture – a large amount of whole milk is probably more effective than a small amount of single cream. You may consider milk to be a rather interesting ingredient for soup, but go with me on this one – it works very well indeed.
If you’re looking to enjoy the unadulterated flavour of celeriac, or something a little less spicy please see my previous recipe for celeriac soup.
Thai Celeriac Soup
• 1 celeriac, cubed
• 2 small potatoes, cubed
• 2 onions, finely sliced
• 3 cloves of garlic
• 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
• 1-2 chillies, with seeds
• A handful of fresh coriander/basil
• 1 stick of lemongrass, finely sliced
• The juice of a lime
• 1 pint of whole milk
• A little water
• Salt and pepper
• Olive oil
• Oil of your choice as a drizzle
1. Begin by frying the onions followed by the potatoes and celeriac in a generous drizzle of olive oil – cook until starting to brown. Meanwhile pop the garlic, ginger, chilli, coriander/basil, lemongrass and lime juice in a food processor and whizz until you have a paste.
2. Stir the paste into the browned vegetables, cook for a few minutes before adding the milk – top up with water if necessary. Simmer until the vegetables have softened through before blending into a smooth soup. Season to taste and drizzle with an oil of your choice before indulging.
Cost: If you do a little shopping around every ingredient on the above recipe can be purchased at a very reasonable price. Indeed, this soup – which should be enough for six – should set you back no more than around £2.30 – wonderful!