from one generation to the next
There are some humble ingredients that skilled cooks can elevate to the sublime. Ordinary everyday celery is on that list for me. Celery braised by an expert still lingers in my food memory as if it were yesterday, not fifteen years ago. That dish is catalogued beside a sublime celery and apple soup memory of thirty years ago. Both dishes worked for me because not only did they taste great, there was no stringiness in the texture. I suspect the stalks of celery had been peeled down their lengths with a vegetable peeler, leaving just the fleshy stem, and it’s most likely he soup had been passed twice through a drum sieve by the first year apprentice in the kitchen where it was prepared, creating a silky smooth and creamy potage. This is my interpretation of that soup, though at home I prefer to make a soup with a bit more texture, but definitely NO strings. I find that soy milk gives this soup a beautiful creamy consistency.
The leaves and tops from 1 celery + 3 sticks celery
2 tart apples (Granny Smith’s are good)
1 medium sized potato, peeled and chopped
1 Celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped
3 litres chicken stock
3 cloves garlic
400mls soy milk ( I use Bonsoy)
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Trim the leaves and top sections from a whole celery. Wash the leaves thoroughly then chop them roughly. Put them into a large pot. Peel the outside surface of the sticks of celery, then slice the celery and add to the pot. Peel and core the apple, roughly chop and add to the pot. Peel and roughly chop the celeriac and add to the pot with the peeled garlic and prepared potato. Add the stock, then bring the pot to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer 30 -40 minutes. Puree the pot contents with a stick blender. Add the soy milk then process until smooth. Add the lemon juice, then salt and pepper to taste. Serve with blue cheese crumbled over the surface. Makes 3 litres of soup.