We’re having our first really cold days of the winter here in the Netherlands, so I felt this required soup for lunch.
One of my discoveries when I moved here was celeriac. Celeriac is a common vegetable here in the Netherlands – but I rarely saw it before I lived here. It has quite a delicate flavour and, as you would expect from the root of the celery plant, it has a slight celery taste. (It is often sold as celery root in the USA and known as knolselderij in the Netherlands).
Celeriac can also be used to make a low-carbohydrate alternative to mashed potatoes; although like this soup, it doesn’t mash well by itself and needs a bit of potato to thicken it.
Anyway, back to this soup. Like most vegetable soups it is quick and simple to make and the only difficult bit is peeling the celeriac. The best way to do this is to cut off the knobbly roots (the bits that look like something out of the Alien movie), and then cut away the tough skin. You can use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin but that is hard work. I’ve found that it’s easier just to cut the skin off in thick strips with a sharp knife.
You will also notice that I use baking powder in this recipe. It normally takes a long time to soften onion, using a little baking powder speeds this process up considerably! (As always make sure to use gluten-free baking powder when cooking – I use Doves Farm)
Celeriac and Horseradish Soup
- 1 celeriac bulb – approximately 1kg/2lbs unpeeled weight. Peeled and cut into 1cm (½inch) cubes.
- 1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 2cm (1 inch) cubes.
- 1 medium onion, chopped.
- ½ tsp gluten-free baking powder (optional)
- 1 garlic clove.
- 2 tbsp olive oil + extra for drizzling.
- 2 chicken or vegetable stock cubes.
- 1l (2pts) boiling water.
- 2 tsp horseradish sauce from a jar.
- 2 tbsp dried mixed herbs.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the onions and stir in the baking powder. Fry, with the lid on, at a medium heat for approx 4 minutes until the onion starts to go translucent.
Add in the garlic clove and fry for another minute.
Turn up the heat and stir in the celeriac and potato.
Add the water, herbs, horseradish and stock cubes and bring to the boil.
Turn down the heat and leave to simmer for 25 minutes until the celeriac is softened. The cooking time will depend on how small you cut the celeriac and how fresh it was. I find fresher celeriac cooks a lot quicker than a bulb that has been hanging around for a while.
Take the pan off the heat and loosely mash the vegetables with a masher to break them down. Then blend the soup to a fine puree with a stick blender.
Add more water to thin the soup down to your desired consistency. I normally find it needs another another 100-250ml (¼-½pt). Bring back to the boil and then serve drizzled with olive oil .