What to do with Celeriac…

You may have seen this strange looking, mud filled vegetable at the local farmers market and wondered “what am I supposed to do with that thing”

Celeriac is a fantastic vegetable, which is not only at its best this time of year, but also plentiful and good value.  It is the underdog of the root vegetable family and has a wonderful earthy taste. We like to use celeriac in many different preparations at Hopgood’s & Co. Raw it has a fantastic crunch and a super nutty, celery-like flavour that makes it perfect for salads and coleslaw.
Cooked, it makes a great substitute for potatoes, taking on a delicious sweetness when boiled, mashed, baked or roasted. Why not try our simple recipe below which also utilises another seasonal market favourite, the humble pear…

Celeriac & Pear Soup with bacon & rosemary brown butter

For the soup
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
20ml olive oil
50g butter
1/2 rosemary sprig, finely chopped
1 large celeriac, skin removed, washed and diced
1 pear, peeled and diced
2lt chicken or vegetable stock
200ml Milk
Sea Salt & White pepper

To finish and garnish
50g butter
100g diced crispy cooked bacon
1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 lemon, juice only
100g creme fraiche or sour cream

For the soup
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pan. Add the onions, garlic and rosemary and cook slowly over a medium heat for 10 minutes until soft. Add the celeriac and pear and cook gently for 10 minutes more without colouring. Add the stock and simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes until the celeriac is tender. Remove from the heat, add the milk then blend until smooth. Season to taste with sea salt and white pepper, then push the soup through a sieve to make it nice and smooth.

To finish and garnish the soup.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over high heat. Cook the butter until nut brown in colour, then add the chopped rosemary, crispy cooked bacon pieces and lemon juice. Remove from the heat. Meanwhile, gently reheat the soup then ladle into bowls. Drizzle over a little of the bacon and rosemary brown butter, then finish with a spoonful of creme fraiche. Enjoy…