How can it possibly be May already? This year seems to be zipping past at an unprecedented rate. As always in life there is so much to do and so few hours a day to do it. I am happy to say, however, that we have our garden 95% planted and tiny shoots and sprouts are emerging from the soil, promising us a vegetable filled summer.
One of the things we planted this year that we have not grown before (and in truth, know very little about) is celeriac. Our little celeriacs are months from maturation but most green grocers around here will carry celeriac for most of the year making it an accessible addition to our usual arsenal of ingredients. Considering we now have them growing in the yard, a taste-test with a store bought one was needed. After some careful peeling I simmered it until tender, added some other flavours and blended it to a smooth, light soup. Upon first taste I was glad we had planted them and I will be giddy to pull our home-grown celeriacs from the ground and cook with them later this year.
If you have never tried it, I would recommend you do! Don’t be put off by its rugged appearance. Celeriac is easily one of the ugliest root vegetables in the market stand and it may be lumpy and gnarled but it is simple to cook with and absolutely delicious. It has a slightly starchy quality to it and a mild, sweet flavour that is quietly potato-like yet reminiscent of celery and even when cooked it keeps it’s clear, bright flavour. I can’t say that I’ll be able to wait for our small crop to be ready before I make celeriac soup again. I have also heard it makes great baked ‘fries’. Hmmm …I’ll try that this week.
6 C of peeled, cubed celeriac from 1 medium/large bulb
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
½ tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp butter
4 C chicken (or vegetable) stock
juice of ½ a lemon
1 C white wine
1 C cream or whole milk
In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter into the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic and celery. Cook until softened and fragrant; add the celeriac, salt, lemon juice and stock. Cover and cook at a gentle simmer for 20 minutes or until the celeriac is very soft. Transfer the vegetables and cooking stock to a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender) and blend until very smooth. Over the pot, pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to eliminate any lumps or vegetable fibres. Add in the wine and cook for 5 minutes at a simmer. Add the cream and bring the temperature back up (about another 5 mins). Check seasoning. Serve hot.