Hello again! I hope you all had a restful and jolly Christmas break, and are still in holiday-mode until after the New Year festivities. Party season is still in full swing, of course, and if you’re entertaining over the next few weeks and looking for a dinner party starter or light lunch that looks impressive, tastes incredible but is actually super-simple to put together, this Celeriac & Hazelnut Soup will be right up your street.
Celeriac is one of those brilliant root vegetables which magically transforms to a velvet-smooth soup when puréed. You can pair it with all sorts of festive flavours – leftover chestnut purée, apple or pear, fresh herbs or watercress, mustard, and many more – but here I decided to experiment with sweet hazelnut milk and crunchy chopped hazelnuts as a garnish, and it worked really well.
The magic of this soup is really all down to its texture, so make sure you keep blitzing it until it is totally smooth. A high-speed blender (like my amazing Optimum blender) is your friend here, making light work of turning a quick and easy soup into something extra-special. But a hand-blender will get there eventually, just don’t stop puréeing for at least a minute or two – your patience will pay off!
If I’m serving soup as a starter I tend to serve it in teacups – it looks so pretty and the portion size is just about right to start a meal without being so filling no one has room for the next courses. But this is also good in larger portions as a filling and hearty lunch served with lots of crusty bread, to warm you through after a bracing post-Christmas walk.
- 2 tbsp oil (rapeseed, sunflower or olive)
- knob dairy-free margarine
- 1 onion
- 1 celeriac
- 1 large potato
- 600 ml water
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 6 stalks fresh thyme
- 250 ml hazelnut milk
- dairy-free cream and 8-10 hazelnuts for garnish (optional)
Heat the oil and margarine in a large lidded saucepan. Peel and chop the onion and add to the pan, then cook gently for 3-4 minutes until starting to soften.
Peel the celeriac and potato and cut both into 1cm cubes then add to the pan. Season well with salt and black pepper, then cover and cook over a gentle heat for 6-8 minutes, stirring regularly.
Add the water, stock cube and pick the thyme leaves, (picked from the stalks), then bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the celeriac and potato are very well cooked through.
Add the hazelnut milk, then tip into a high-speed blender or use a hand blender to blitz to a very smooth and velvety puree. Return to the pan and heat through until piping hot, then serve drizzled with a little dairy-free cream, roughly chopped hazelnuts and a few thyme leaves.
For more soup ideas take a look at:
- Porcini & Sherry Soup
- Curly Kale & Butterbean Soup
- Pea Pod & Little Gem Soup
- Smoky Mexican Quinoa Soup
- Roasted Cauliflower & Cumin Soup
I’m linking this post with blogging challenges:
- Meat Free Mondays over at Tinned Tomatoes
- No Croutons Required which is also over at Tinned Tomatoes this month
And don’t forget that my new book Vegan in 15 is out now, and available to order on Amazon, (whoop!). Many thanks for your support!