My family had a typically hearty and pleasurable supper at The Station in Framlingham for my Dad’s birthday in March – he and brothers had the steamed beef suet puddings, which went down very well, mum and I had oysters and then steak, and we all drank Victoria Bitter from the local Earl Soham Brewery. The next day, I was left to my own devices in my parents’ kitchen to write, and so naturally my thoughts immediately turned to what to make for lunch. There was a head of celeriac that needed using in the fridge and mum had some ham stock in the freezer left over from cooking the Christmas ham, so I made a soup from it. The pigginess comes through in a nice way from the stock, but chicken or vegetable stock, or water would also be fine. The crouton is not essential, but it was rather nice.
1 litre, hot stock or seasoned hot water
1 head, celeariac, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tart apple, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large potato, peeled and cut into chunks
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 stick, celery, finely diced
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves, garlic, peeled and finely diced
3 several very generous heaped tablespoons, crème fraîche
1 dessert spoon, cider vinegar
a few chopped walnuts
sprinkling of goat’s cheese
How to make:
Sweat down the onion, garlic, carrot and celery in a knob of melted butter and a tablespoon of olive oil with a bouquet garni of your choice (sage, thyme, bay etc.)
Add the other chopped vegetables and apple and stir well. Add the hot stock. Bring to the boil and leave on a low simmer for 30 minutes. Check that the potatoes and celeriac are cooked. Season well with salt and pepper. Blend thoroughly with a hand blender and then pass the soup through a sieve, which will give it a refined texture. Stir through the crème fraîche and vinegar and then taste again for seasoning.
Make the crouton if desired, then serve with a sprinkling of parsley if you want.