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.
Celeriac & Hazelnut Soup
- 2 tbsp oil (rapeseed, sunflower or olive)
- 1 tbsp 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: