In amongst a busy month of work, deadlines and Christmas fun, healthy eating has unfortunately largely fallen by the wayside for me this month. Although I actually tried this recipe just before Christmas, this fresh and healthy soup is the perfect antidote to January hangover of Christmas indulgence. Having some of these leftovers out of the freezer after getting home after Christmas yesterday really hit the spot, and even got good reviews from a serial meat eater.
Do you ever have one of those ‘You know you’ve become a boring grown up when…?’ moments? I had one recently which led to the making of this soup. A few weeks back I was browsing the Lidl vegetable section (great deals on what is usually English grown veg!) when I came across something that left me feeling pretty excited. In fact, as often happens in discount shops like Lidl, I made an impulse purchase. But not on an unnecessary but fun appliance like a cupcake maker or on big family-sized pack of some unhealthy chocolate related item to be eaten by me and me alone… My impulse buy was celeriac… a root vegetable. Which by the way is indisputably the ugliest root vegetable going. Why so excited? Well, I remember having this great celeriac soup in a little pub restaurant near Canterbury a few years back and seeing it in a number of cookbooks since then, but I’ve never been able to find one. So now we know, if you’re looking for the elusive celeriac you don’t need to search expensive artisan farm shops, but instead check out the cheapest supermarket going in Europe. And as for my Lidl shop, don’t worry – I also bought a cheeky pack of shortbread which I ate all by myself and made a great cure for an actual Christmas party hangover.
Being a root vegetable, the celeriac gives the soup a lovely thick texture, but the celery and the apple give it a really nice fresh and light edge. It’s also super healthy and really easy to make, plus the parsley makes it satisfyingly green. This serves around 6 decent portions and so is the perfect chance for a bulk cook, giving you a couple of lunches and enough to put in the freezer.
- 3 tbsp coconut oil/ butter
- 2 white onions, roughly chopped
- 4 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp thyme
- 6 apples (not cooking apples), peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- 1 small celeriac (around 300g), peeled and roughly chopped to 2x2cm chunks
- 2 litres of vegetable or chicken stock
- 120g cashew nuts
- 3 large handfuls of freshly chopped parsley, plus extra for serving
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Drizzle of olive oil to serve (optional)
How to make it…
- Heat the coconut oil in a large, deep saucepan (which has a lid). Add the onion and celery and leave to sweat on a medium heat for 5-7 minutes, partially covered.
- Add the garlic, thyme and apples, leaving to sweat for another 5 minutes.
- Next, add the celeriac and the stock and bring to the boil. Then lower the heat and leave to simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the celeriac is tender.
- Remove from the heat, and add the cashew nuts and parsley (remembering to save a little to garnish). Blend the soup until smooth and return to the pan to reheat.
- Season to taste and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and chopped parsley.
Recipe from Hemsley and Hemsley – http://www.hemsleyandhemsley.com/recipe/celeriac-apple-and-celery-soup/