Celeriac is a vegetable that we use a lot in the restaurant. We use it in coleslaw, in slow-cooked dishes, in pesto and in soup. I think it is an underused vegetable. It is delicious in this recipe with the tastes of apple and smoked bacon.
You can get excellent stock from Carol’s Stock Market which is made additive free in her premises in Derry.
Check out the website and apart from the range of products it is worth reading Carol Banahan’s story of her life in high finance in Canada before returning to Ireland and setting up this business.
For apple juice you might like to try The Apple Farm in Cahir, Co Tipperary run by the Traas family.
There is eating and drinking in this and it is easy to make
To Italy for the second soup, a tasty minestrone. There is eating and drinking in this and it is easy to make. You can use and tomato and basil sauce you like or make your own, but I like the Simply Better sauce as it is made in Italy and there is no added sugar.
Both soups will keep for four or five days in the fridge, or can be frozen.
Neven’s Spanish Trails TV series is on RTE1 at 830 on Wednesdays.
Celeriac and potato soup with smoked bacon
Serves four to six
2 litres (3½ pints) chicken stock (from a cube is fine)
5 garlic cloves (3 peeled and 2 thinly sliced)
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
500g (1lb 2oz) potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 celeriac, peeled and chopped
100g (4oz) smoked bacon lardons
300ml (½ pint) cream
100ml (3½fl oz) unsweetened apple juice
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
buttered brown soda bread, to serve (optional)
Minestrone soup with pesto
Serves four to six
2 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stick, trimmed and diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 x 428g jar of Italian tomato & basil pasta sauce
1 tbsp tomato purée
600ml vegetable stock
100g fine green beans, cut into 3cm pieces
120g Italian Bronze Die Spaghetti, broken up into short pieces
1 tbsp fresh basil, shredded
1 tbsp Italian Pesto Alla Genove
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper