Saturday, 31 January 2015

Rooting Around for Supper

Vellutata di Sedano Rapa, Zenzero, Timo, Rosmarino & Yogurt
Cream of Celariac Soup, with Ginger, Thyme Rosemary & Yogurt

Still feeling "under the weather", I thought it should be another soup for supper this evening. I have plenty of chicken broth now (planning ahead!) - and I am not afraid to use it!

So- being unafraid... I decided to try making a soup that was just a little bit different- and it ended up being THIS.

Celeriac has a very strong, earthy flavor, that may not be for everyone- but it is a great vegetable to use for soups and indeed, deserving of having a soup all of it's own! With just a couple of other ingredients, I had this super-hearty and satisfying soup ready in just 30 minutes- sounds good? IS good!


Celeriac roots CAN be rather large- as was this one! So, being as there is now way of me knowing how large yours might be, when you come around to buy it- and because I think it's rather over-the-top to start weighing ingredients for a soup (!!)- I will say, if you want to make 2 bowls of soup? You will need one bowlful of chopped celeriac. Simple, fool-proof method. I should know- that's what I did! Haha!

Otherwise, all I added was a little rosemary and thyme, 3-4 slices of ginger, 1 shallot, some chicken broth, 5-6 tablespoons of yogurt... and a very important ingredient- about 1 tablespoon of chickpea flour.


Why is the chickpea flour important? The reason is, that it will not only help to "bind" the soup, but also, as I have learned from Indian cuisine- it somehow prevents yogurt from curdling when added to hot food- which is excellent! That way, you can replace cream or other fatty alternatives, with a low-fat yogurt, to add the same creamy mildness and save on a lot of calories- all good stuff! And aren't you glad I shared?

So, coarsely chop the ingredients and pluck a few leaves of rosemary to be ready to start on your soup-no need to fuss or try to be accurate- it is all going to be puréed later anyway!


Begin by sizzling the shallot, ginger, celeriac and rosemary together with just a little olive oil. 2-3 minutes will be enough t get some flavor developing.


Then add the chickpea flour and stir it together so that everything gets nicely coated.


Once the flour begins to develop the aroma of cooked chickpeas and to slightly brown, you are ready to start turning these vegetables into a soup!

Begin by adding just a little water at first- to deglaze the base of the saucepan and to dissolve the flour. As the flour was spread evenly over the surface of all of those chopped-up ingredients, it will dissolve evenly and not form any lumps.


Now add the chicken broth and plenty of pepper- check for salt and add if necessary- and allow to simmer for 20 minutes until the celeriac is cooked through.


Looks harmless enough doesn't it- almost seems a shame to get in there with an immersion blender and chop those chunks to smithereens! Haha! If you are too faint-hearted for that- or own a blender (which I don't), that would be the other alternative.

Once it has been blended together for a minute or two, you will have a lovely, smooth, velvety cream soup... without the cream!

Serve with a last spoonful of yogurt, a dusting of pepper and a sprinkle of fresh thyme... and simply enjoy!


And as you can see- that yogurt really doesn't curdle! And it goes wonderfully to make that strong celeriac and ginger flavor milder and much nicer!

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