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!
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