Sunday, February 2, 2014

Creamy Celeriac Soup with Rosemary and Bacon

I was really pleased with the balance of flavors in this soup. It's a good showcase for celeriac's nutty, celery-y flavor, and the rosemary and bacon round it out and make it hearty enough for a light main course. I served this with Whole Wheat Popovers, which went really well with it.

2 Tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
3 lbs celeriac, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
Chicken stock
Up to 1 cup milk
4-6 oz cooked bacon, chopped
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt to taste

Melt the butter in a soup pot, then add the onion and garlic and saute over medium-high heat for several minutes, until slightly browned. Add the celeriac and rosemary, then enough stock to just cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the celeriac is very tender, about 10-15 minutes.  (If you have not cooked the bacon ahead of time, this is a good time to do it. I like to do large-ish quantities under the broiler; I line a rimmed pan with foil then place a cooking rack over it and the bacon on the rack. Broil for 3-4 minutes per side.)

Once the celeriac is tender, puree the soup. I do this with an immersion blender, but you could also do it in batches in a regular blender. Once pureed, stir in milk to reach the desired consistency, then add the bacon and white wine vinegar. Season with salt to taste.  Serve hot.

Serves 4-6.

1 comment:

jhm said...

Sounds good. Probably better w/ cream, but what isn't?

At any rate, bacon. Take a look at this technique (h/t Cooks' Illustrated):

Place the bacon (in strips or cut into pieces) and just enough water to cover it in a skillet over high heat. When the water reaches a boil, lower the heat to medium. Once all of the water has simmered away, turn down the heat to medium-low and continue cooking until the bacon is crisp and well browned. When we tried this method, the meat plumped up as it cooked instead of shriveling, leaving the bacon pleasantly crisp, not tough or brittle.

The addition of water keeps the initial cooking temperature low and gentle, so the meat retains its moisture and stays tender. By the time the water reaches its boiling point (212 degrees), the bacon fat is almost completely rendered, so you’re also much less likely to burn the meat while waiting for the fat to cook off.