I have got this impression that celeriac in not particularly popular in many kitchens. It is a shame because it's bitterness and strong smell can be quite intriguing. 18th century French courtesan Madame de Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV knew this and she cooked celeriac soup for him and perhaps this is why she was his favourite mistress?
Celeriac is packed with the vitamins and minerals and it suppose to keep you young and relaxed. Not even mentioning it's fame for being an aphrodisiac food. If I tell you that I cooked a soup made with this veg and another famous aphrodisiac - ginger - would you give it a go?
Inspired by "Olive" magazine (February 2009 issue) I made two versions of this soup.
2 tbsp sunflower oil
4 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
piece of fresh ginger, about inch size, peeled and finely chopped
celeriac, about 800g, peeled and diced
2 ripe pears, cored, peeled and diced
1l vegetable stock
frshly ground black pepper
some chopped fresh parsley
For vegetarian version: piece of stale bread roll, diced, drizzled with little olive oil and roasted in the oven until crispy.
For meat lovers one: some bacon sliced or diced and fried in dry pan until crispy.
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the shallots, garlic and ginger and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until softened but not browned.
Add the celeriac, pears and stock, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for about 20minutes, until the celeriac is softened.
Remove from the heat and liquidise with blender until smooth, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with croutons for vegetarians or with bacon for meat lovers.