Leek and celeriac soup | Recipe | Chicken stock | Vegetable

Foodtourist.com Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Leek and celeriac soup

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Country: Australia

Leek and celeriac soup is very simple to make - this is the soup we made while doing the radio program at Tread Lightly at the Botanical Gardens - it took about 30 minutes from start to finish. It is a vegetable soup but not a vegetarian soup because we use chicken stock, but it would also be fine with a vegetable stock.
We make it when we can buy locally-grown celeriac, something we're doing at the moment at the Eatem Organics stall at Salamanca Market just near Lifestyle Furniture. It's even better if you grow your own.
These knobbly, somewhat scary looking root vegetables have a strong smell of celery however they are delicious when cooked. You can treat them in a very similar way to potato. They are good when roasted in olive oil or boiled and then mashed - just like potatoes.
This recipe is a template - always use the potato but you could start with an onion instead of the leek. For example, you could make broccoli, jerusalem artichoke or cauliflower soup using the same procedure or go back to the classic combination of leek and potato (i.e. omit the celeriac). Alternatively, reduce the quantity of leeks and substitute with celery to emphasise the celery flavour.
Ingredients for 4
50 grams unsalted butter
1 large celeriac
4 leeks (white part and a little bit of the green)
1 medium all-purpose potato such as bintje
Sea salt (we use Australia's own Murray Valley)
Freshly ground pepper
Chicken stock (home made) - sufficient to cover the vegetables plus a little bit more
60 mls cream (or more to taste for a richer soup)
The procedure is very simple. First cut the leeks lengthwise and wash out any dirt. Then cut them into thin slices. Melt the butter in a solid saucepan (we use Le Creuset) and add the leeks. Sauté them gently (make sure that the heat is low enough so that they don't turn brown) until they are quite soft.
Next peel the celeriac to remove the skin and knobbly bits from the outside. Cut the celeriac into cubes about a centimetre square. As you do this add them to the leeks and continue to cook them slowly.
Next peel and dice the potato in the same way as the celeriac and add it to the leeks and celeriac. This is an important ingredient as its starch helps bring the soup together and helps give the soup a ‘velvet' texture.
Season with sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
Add enough stock to just cover the vegetables and a little bit more. Bring to the boil then turn the temperature down so it simmers until the potato and celeriac are soft.
Taste the broth and, if necessary, add more salt and pepper.
Transfer the soup, in batches, to a blender and blend it on a high speed until it is smooth.
Return to a clean saucepan (it could be the same one!).
Add the cream and stir to mix well. Taste for seasoning and to decide if you'd like more cream. Adjust if necessary then pour into soup bowls and enjoy!
If you want to try a special variation to this dish then team it with oysters which have a special affinity with these flavours. Place one or two oysters in a shallow soup bowl (with their juices if you are opening them yourself) and then pour the soup around the oysters. The result is a sophisticated dish that is perfect for a special occasion.
© Sue Dyson and Roger McShane, 2009

Foodtourist.com - Independent commentary on the Web since 1996

Copyright | Disclaimer| Privacy Policy