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Celeriac and mushroom soup
I love soup season - the idea that you can create something so warm and nourishing with one pan, a pile of vegetables and a half hour of chopping and stirring.
My favourite soup at this time of year is this really comforting celeriac and mushroom one - the earthiness lifted by a hint of lemon.
Celeriac is, I feel, an underused vegetable. It is in season September to April and is chock full of vitamins B6, C and potassium along with a good dose of fibre. It also stores well - just pop it in the veg drawer of your fridge to stop it drying out. Once cut and exposed to air it will begin to discolour - this doesn't really matter in a soup but its perhaps not one to prep ages in advance.
I buy celeriac rather than grow it as it hates heavy soil - it costs about £1.50 a kilo - but if you have a light soil it will grow happily (though take up a lot of space). I also don't tend to cook celeriac on its own as the flavour can be bland but it works incredibly well as a background to other flavours.
Note : I often add lemon to my soups, especially root vegetable soups which can be too sweet. While you can simply add lemon juice at the end, I tend to use already squeezed lemons (which I store in the fridge in beeswax wraps) - adding them with the stock and then squashing the juice out and removing the fruit prior to pureeing).
Celeriac and mushroom soup.
- 2 onions finely chopped
- 1 celeriac peeled and chopped into 2cm bits
- 500g mushrooms sliced
- 1 tbs oil
- 1 litre stock (I often use marigold powder if I don't have stock to hand - if using it then reduce the salt as the powder is quite salty)
- Half a lemon (see note above)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Gently fry the onion in the oil until soft
Add celeriac and mushrooms and cook gently for 5 minutes or so - until the mushrooms shrink a bit and start to give out liquid.
Add stock and lemon and simmer for 15-20 minutes until celeriac is soft.
Squash the lemon with your spoon and remove.
Puree the soup until smooth - I use a blending wand.
Taste to see if it needs salt/pepper.
Assuming you use a vegetable stock, this soup is suitable for vegans.