Now I know I don’t need to remind you dear reader, that when Pope Gregory XIII introduced the Gregorian calender in 1582 he decreed that the third Sunday of October would herald the beginning of Soup Season (Source: Wikipedia). Obviously in these most modern of times we are much more relaxed about such things and tend to live and eat to a generally less proscriptive timetable – some of us even eating cold soup in summer! But whatever your beliefs on such matters, I’m sure we can all agree that the nights are drawing in and there is a whiff of Winter in the air, so what better way to fortify oneself against the forthcoming long months of cold and misery, than a warming nutritious bowl of soup?
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Skill level: easy
- 1 head of celery – chopped – about 700g (keep any leaves for a garnish)
- 1 largish onion – finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic – finely chopped
- a small bunch of parsley – finely chopped
- vegetable stock – 1 litre
- single cream – 100ml (you can also use crème fraiche or full-fat milk)
- olive oil
- nutmeg – a good pinch
- s and p
Pour some oil into a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and add the celery, onion and garlic.
Sweat over a gentle heat for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft but not coloured.
Add the stock, parsley and nutmeg along with a generous twist of black pepper.
Simmer for about 15 minutes.
Pour into a liquidiser and blitz until smooth.
Pass though a sieve back into the saucepan. Use the back of a ladle to squash as much liquid (and flavour) out of the fibre.
Pour in the cream and bring back to temperature.
Serve with an extra drizzle of cream and a sprinkling of chopped celery leaves.
Verdict: Celery is usually just a secondary player in many soups, so it’s nice to put it front of stage for once… and it doesn’t disappoint. In fact it shines… a clean, smooth, surprisingly sophisticated soup.
Drink: N/A at lunchtime.
Entertainment: Radcliffe and Maconie