Roasted Celeriac and Caraway Soup with Herb and Caper Croutons

Demuths Cookery School

Vegan bowl

Seasonal variations: this soup works well with carrots, Jerusalem artichokes or potatoes instead of celeriac-or use a mixture of vegetables. To make this soup more of a ‘meal in a bowl’ add some beans – we use tinned cannellini beans or chick peas which are full of protein. You could also add lentils – tinned or dried.

Ingredients

  1. For the soup:
  2. 1 medium celeriac (approx. 900g before peeling)
  3. 1 large onion, chopped
  4. 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  5. 2 tsp caraway seeds
  6. Bouquet garni of bay, rosemary and sage
  7. 600ml vegetable stock, preferably homemade
  8. 100ml soya milk (or other dairy free milk)
  9. For the croutons:
  10. 100g stale bread cut into very small cubes
  11. 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  12. Zest of a lemon
  13. A large handful of parsley-or a selection of herbs that you like
  14. 1 tbsp capers
  15. 4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  16. Salt and pepper

Preparation

Serves 4-6 | Dietary: Vegan, Wheat Free (without the croutons)

Method

Soup:

  • Pre heat the oven to 200c/ gas mark 6.
  • Peel the celeriac using a sharp peeler and remove any areas where the roots are still visible.
  • Chop into 1 cm cubes and place in a roasting tin with a splash of rapeseed or vegetable oil.
  • Roast the celeriac for 25 minutes or until it is softened and golden around the edges. Add the caraway seeds and return to the oven for another five minutes.
  • While the celeriac is roasting heat a little oil in a large sauce pan and gently cook the onion, until it is really soft and starting to caramelise. Add the garlic and fry for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the roasted celeriac, bouquet garni and caraway to the onion mixture and stir well.
  • Pour on the stock and soya milk and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the bouquet garni and blend until smooth with a hand blender. Taste, season and serve

Tip: A bouquet garni is a small bunch of herbs that you add to soups and stews to infuse the dish with flavour-it is removed before serving. Traditionally the herbs are “hard herbs” such as bay, rosemary, sage, thyme, all of which grow well in the British winter. You can tie them together with clean string (you can buy cooking string from kitchen shops) or use a heatproof plastic freezer clip-one that has been washed in a hot dishwasher or placed in boiling water before use to sterilise.

Croutons:

  • Preheat the oven to 200c/ gas mark 6
  • Heat a roasting dish in the oven. Add the oil and then the bread and mix well.
  • Cook in the oven for approximately 10 minutes and then add the chopped garlic and stir in. Return to the oven and roast for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the bread is crispy and golden.
  • Finely chop the herbs and capers together with the lemon zest.
  • Add the chopped herbs to the crispy croutons and mix together. Taste and add pepper (you probably won’t need salt as the capers are salty already)
  • Use to garnish the soup-any leftovers can be stored in an airtight box in the fridge and will keep for about 3 days.

Tips: These croutons are a great way of using up stale bread-they are traditionally made with sourdough or ciabatta style bread. You can also use a wheat free or spelt bread. Croutons on their own (without added herbs) will keep for weeks in a sealed container out of the fridge-once you add fresh herbs they won’t last so long and need to be kept cold. If you like things spicy add some flaked chilli to the croutons. Croutons don’t need to be just for soup-they are also great added to pasta dishes, rice or salads. Vary the herbs that you use – parsley is ideal but basil, chives, dill, sorrel and coriander would also work.

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