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celeriac and carrot soup in bowl

Another soup day – cloudy, promise of snow, blustery, speed restrictions on the bridge. I had hoped to do a more spring-welcoming soup as it is March-proper, but the weather just doesn’t warrant it. So, it’s to the comfort blanket of soups, a simple but unusual combination of celeriac, carrots, potato, caraway and cumin. I won’t blather on about the nutrients too much today as yesterday’s post probably stunned with its tmi approach to that days’ ingredients – everything you always wanted to know about cardamom but were afraid to ask…

For those that have never tried celeriac it is a lovely, subtle vegetable, slightly nutty, a bit like mild celery (funny, that). I really love it. It is however a vegetable that a lot of us don’t know how to use – the puzzling, nobbly addition to a delivered organic veg box. Although you can easily add it in with other vegetables when roasting, or half and half with potato in a gratin or mash (or classic but fattening remoulade), try it in this comforting, aromatic soup. Please keep in the touch of Greek yogurt unless you aren’t having dairy; the tang of the yogurt really adds to the vegetable and spice flavours. Maybe add a bit of fresh lemon juice if you are off milk products. Also, like a lot of soups, measurements don’t have to be exact; use the quantities that you have available or prefer.

Science Bit: Celeriac is a well-kept secret that anyone trying to shed a few pounds could well do to explore being very low in calories and sugars, especially when eaten raw (have with a low-fat dip). It is a good source of fibre, vitamin B6, vitamin K, magnesium, potassium and manganese, and a very good source of vitamin C and bone-strengthening phosphorus.

For those expecting a pancake recipe, I really didn’t want to join the intense throng of posts on the subject. Plenty of great ones from which to chose. Miss R will however be fixing the pancake with pear and homemade chocolate sauce recipe enticingly photographed in this month’s Waitrose magazine. We are having an ascetic salad beforehand to ‘deserve’ our gooey treat.  Glad I ‘zumba-ed’ last night!

caraway seeds in mortar

Carrot and Celeriac Soup with Caraway and Cumin

2 tsp rapeseed oil

2 leeks, sliced OR one large onion, sliced*

½ tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp caraway seed

250g/0.5 lb carrots, sliced (about 3 medium carrots)

250g/0.5 lb potatoes, diced (about 2 medium potatoes)

250g/ 0.5 lb celeriac, root trimmed, peeled and cubed (or half a celeriac)

1.5 litres/50 fl oz/6.3 cups vegetable stock, plus extra for thinning the soup, if liked – it’s a thick soup

4 tbsp organic Greek yogurt

Equipment You Need: cutting board, sharp knife, measuring spoons, wooden spoon, large saucepan with lid, hand-blender or blender

What You Do: In a large lidded saucepan sauté the leeks or onion in the oil over a low heat for a few minutes. Add the seeds, carrots, potatoes and celeriac and continue cooking for a further five minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Add the vegetable stock, cover the pan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are soft. Allow the soup to cool a bit before blending with a hand blender or in a food processor. Reheat with the Greek yogurt in clean pan; with any additional seasoning such as freshly ground pepper or fresh thyme leaves. If you think you might like to eat some and freeze the remainder, leave out the yogurt and only add it to what you will be eating immediately or storing in the fridge. This soup is really nice with rye bread or rye crispbread. Makes 5-6 bowlsful

* Onions are sometimes not tolerated very well during chemotherapy but I ‘ve heard from patients that leeks are more digestible. Anecdotal but worth a try if this applies to you. Let me know if you notice a difference.

8 thoughts on “Carrot and Celeriac Soup

  1. Annie says:

    I consider myself to be something of an expert on this soup now and the final results are truly amazing…taking soup to a new level…..I’m running out of superlatives here…..just try it! Anyway it all started when the ever present celeriac appeared in my vegie box and I thought along the lines of aha…Kellie’s soup…. Crucially though I did not have the vital ingredients like the cumin caraway seeds or greek yoghurt so just made a regular vegie soup with all the other ingredients (cos I was hungry). This was actually really nice – an enhanced version of leek and potato – and everyone ate it but I did feel I was really failing to test the proper recipe. Then yesterday as I still had half my celeriac I equipped myself with the proper ingredients and made it as per the recipe. Impatiently I tasted it pre yogurt and it had a distinct caraway flavour – once the yogurt is added it evolves into something sublime – we were all cooing over it last night (how sad are we…?!). Anyway – thank you so much for this show stopper – have some left for lunch today….tee hee!

  2. Wowee Annie – you are my star subscriber for sure! Thanks for testing my recipe so thoroughly, nearly a controlled trial – although not randomised double blind etc… Very scientific. Hope you enjoy your leftovers. I’ve got another soup lined up to post soon, a winter/spring transition recipe that should be supported by your veg box. Who do you use for your veg box? Would you recommend them?

  3. Colin says:

    Hi Kelly, I used your Carrot and Celeriac Soup recipe today and it’s simmering at the moment. ( Could you clarify the stock measurement, please – 1.5 litres/192 fl oz/6.3 cups – as afar as I can check, the litres and cups equate to each other but the 192 fl ozs doesn’t seem to relate to the other two. I used 1.5 litres.

    1. Hi Colin. I’m not sure when you commented. Sorry about the measurement thing. It’s been awhile since I wrote the recipe so I’m not sure how I measured it, or if I plugged it into an online converter. The 1.5 litres sounds good though. I ‘think’ in litres so ounces and cups bamboozle me. Hope you like(d) it anyway!

      1. Colin says:

        Hi Kellie (apologies for mis-spelling your name). Thanks for your reply. I made the comment just today – and the soup was delicious! I’ve checked with a converter of UK fl oz to litres and it looks like 1.5 litres should be just over 50 fl oz. So your 192 fl oz would result in a catering size helping of about 6 litres!! “Cups” bamboozling an American? I thought it was everyone else who was bamboozled by American Cups! Thanks for the recipe.
        30th June 2012

      2. Ah, but I’ve been In Scotland for (whisper it) 25 years so that’s my excuse. Glad you liked the recipe and thanks for commenting. I shall amend the recipe so as to not add to the confusion!

  4. Those are some of my favorite flavors! I am bookmarking this to try for sure!

    1. Thanks so much Alyssa. It is quite different from ‘normal’ gingerbread, very gingery & rich with treacle

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