Celeriac and apple soup with walnut pesto

We got a beautiful celeriac in our veg box this week and I couldn’t resist cooking it up as soon as I woke this morning. I thought the recipe up on the spot, as I like to do. Sometimes this meal planning malarkey gets in the way of how I prefer to cook, seeing what ingredients we have in the house and what might put them to best use. Anyway, I had some parsley and mint that were looking a bit limp, and some walnuts, and some apples. I kept the soup pretty basic with one good-sized celeriac, one onion and two apples, if you like a bit of extra fruitiness it could certainly cope with an extra piece. I then whizzed up an Anglicised version of pesto with some toasted walnuts, mint and parsley. Oh my, this is all combines to make a very good soup indeed.

For the soup
700g celeriac
2-3 small apples
1 onion
Butter for frying
1l veg stock
Splash double cream

For the pesto
50g mixed fresh parsley and mint
2 cloves garlic
Squeeze of lemon
30g walnuts, toasted
Zest of half a lemon
4tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

To serve
Some more toasted, roughly chopped walnuts

To make the soup
Fry the onion in a little butter until softened. Cube the celeriac into 1-2cm pieces and add to the pot.

Cook the celeriac for a good 15 minutes or so until it is starting to look translucent.

Core and cube the fresh apples and add to the pot along with the stock and a generous grinding of black pepper. If I don’t have homemade stock to hand, I use 2 heaped tsp Swiss Vegetable Bouillon per 1 litre of boiling water. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer for 40-50 minutes.

Blend until smooth, check the seasoning and stir in a good splash of cream (about 60ml).

To make the pesto
While the soup is bubbling away, toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan until they are starting to brown and become fragrant.

Roughly chop the garlic and herbs and place in a food processor (or, again, as I do, in a flat-bottomed jug to blend using a hand blender).

Add the toasted walnuts, lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper and blend to a rough, but loose paste.

Check the seasoning and stir in a good squeeze of lemon juice.

To serve
Heat the soup well and serve with a good dollop of pesto on top and a sprinkling of toasted walnuts. Delicious!

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About Chloe King

I'm a freelance writer, designer and webby type. I live with my husband and daughter in the south of England. I like to cook and can throw a good party.

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