Saturday, November 10, 2007
Celeriac and Apple Soup
Part of the Soup Trilogy.
Some of you are all like "celeriwha?" Here's a link and here's a picture:
Kinda looks like the mandrake from Harry Potter, no? Wait, what about now:
Hahahahahahaha, I kill myself.
Anyhow, this is a warm, comforting winter soup. Weather's been kind of schizophrenic around here so it's nice to have soup in the fridge. Grilled cheese sandwiches and soup sound like a pretty good meal for a rainy day.
Anyhow, here we go. As usual, I made a giant vat of soup but will give directions for a more manageable quantity. However, the pictures will not reflect this.
I made celery stock for this recipe although I don't expect any of you to follow suit. Although you'll see lots of pureed vegetable soups which call for chicken broth, I try to abstain from meat broth in soups like this...I'm trying to capture the taste of the vegetable in it's purest form and don't want to muddle the flavor. However, feel free to use vegetable or chicken broth if you want.
Here's a picture of the ingredients we're using:
For the solitary leek: Leeks can be really, really dirty so a through cleaning is necessary. Cut off the green top and the root end. Take the remaining tube of leek and cut it into quarters but not all the way through. Here's a pic:
Swish the leek through some water to clean the internal layers. Take the cleaned leek and chop into postage stamp sized pieces:
Set aside. Chop a clove of garlic and set aside.
Peel and roughly chop a medium potato
and drop into water while you finish the rest of your prep. Why a potato? The flavor is fairly neutral and it adds a nice body to a pureed soup, that's why.
Breaking down celery root, you'll need two, is much easier than you might think. First, cut off the top:
Start slicing down the sides to peel the vegetable:
Continue until all sides are peeled and set aside:
For this recipe, prep two celery roots. At the end of peeling, your cutting board will probably be quite dirty
so clean the board before moving on.
Roughly chop your celery root so the chunks are about the same size as the potato. Set aside.
Next, dice up 2 slices of bacon.
Place the bacon in to a pot and fry. You want to render out the fat and crisp the bacon because the bacon will be used as garnish.
Pour out all but two tablespoons of bacon fat. Add the leeks/garlic cook until softened. Try not to color the leeks.
While the bacon is frying and the leeks are cooking, peel and roughly chop a granny smith apple.
After the leeks have softened, toss in the potato, celery root and apple. Season with a large pinch of salt and cook for five minutes. After this, add enough broth to just cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook until the ingredients are tender.
Here's a photo montage of the soup as it cooks:
By now, the veggies should be nice and soft. Allow to cool a bit and then blend. Really blend the living daylights out of it and strain the mixture through a medium sieve.
Return to the pot and taste...salt? Maybe some sugar? White pepper? After that, add as much heavy cream as you dare. For my 3 quart quantity, I added a pint of cream. The cream also has the benefit of whitening your soup. Taste and readjust seasoning.
Done! I garnished mine with a celery leaf and some of the crisped bacon. Matchsticks of apple would also be nice.
Time- Maybe a half hour of prep and 40 minutes of cooking/blending/straining time.
Food Cost-(This is done on my giant batch, not the smaller quantity I've given instructions for.)
Celery Root- 3X$1.49=$4.50
Servings- Around 8 good servings as a side dish. $1.15 per bowl.