Celeriac Soup With Crispy Bacon And Hazelnuts

I tend to turn to soupy and comfort food as the weather turns cold. I can’t go out without a thick coat and my chunky scarf. I like the feeling of being wrapped in a soft and smooth material around my body, giving me warmth and comfort.  As we are entering winter months, I never fail to use my cocotte casserole more. I like to make big portion of food so that I can keep for the next day or two. One pot and one pan is the kind of cooking I resort to.

Mom always reminds me to keep myself hydrated. “Drink at least 2 litres of water a day”… “make sure you have soup as part of your meals”. I guess, I have been brought up to love soup very naturally. To be honest, making soup is really easy. There is not much cooking involved. You just need to let the vegetables or meats boil until the are soft.

Though growing up eating Chinese-style of soup that is never in a form of purée; I also love Western-style soup that tends to be creamy and smooth. I can survive with either one.

Celeriac is one of the vegetables that I got to know a few years ago. It doesn’t look very pretty from the outside. But, it smells absolutely wonderful! It’s a variety of celery and no wonder I love it because I love using celery in my cooking. So far, I have only used it in soup. But, I want to use it in some other dishes. Perhaps, use it in salad, stir-fry,.. etc

Celeriac has natural sweetness. So, it pairs really well with crispy salty bacon. On top of that, I decided to add some toasted hazelnuts as I like to have some extra crunch in my soup and I thought the combinations are great. Substitute hazelnuts with pine nuts or pecan nuts would be great ideas too!

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Celeriac Soup with Crispy Bacon and Hazelnuts

Yield: 3-4 persons

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
400g celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped
250ml chicken stock
250ml milk
salt and pepper

To serve:
100g bacon, fried and chopped
50g toasted hazelnuts or any other nuts you like

Directions:

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, add the celeriac, season with salt and pepper and cook very gently for 30 minutes. Stirring frequently to prevent the celeriac from colouring.

2. Pour in the chicken stock and milk bring to the boil and simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes or until the celeriac is soft. Purée the soup in batches in a liquidiser and pass through a sieve.

3. Meanwhile, heat the bacon in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry in the rendered fat, stirring occasionally until golden and crisp. Drain these on kitchen paper. When cold, roughly chop the bacon into small pieces.

4. To serve, divide the soup into individual bowls, top equal portion of bacon and toasted hazelnuts.