Monday, February 20, 2012

Celery Soup


Another blustery night, another warming soup. I'm really getting the hang of these simple winter vegetable soups. They are so simple, so delicious and are about as 'naked' as recipes get. The ingredients are basically vegetables, water and seasoning. That's it. No store-bought stocks, no Knorr stock cubes (sorry Marco) and definitely no powdered anything. Here's what I did:

I got a big whack of celery, leeks and onions. The ratio was basically three parts celery, two parts leek, one part onions. Chop them all into a chunkyish dice and start sweating it all down in a bit of oil in the pot. Once the vegetables have started to soften, add one sliced clove of garlic. Let it frizzle for a few moments longer, than deglaze with a bit of vermouth. Drop in two bay leaves and then pour in boiling water from the kettle - enough to fill the pot about an inch over the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and allow to simmer gently on the back burner for about a half hour. Once the vegetables appear to be tender enough, remove the bay leaves, and puree the soup in a blender (do it in batches if necessary). Return the pureed soup to a clean pot, and grate in a very generous amount of fresh nutmeg, and adjust the salt to your personal preference.

To serve, pour into bowls and crumble a little sheep's milk feta on top with a drizzle of your best olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh dill. It is truly amazing how a few modest and humble ingredients can produce such a sublime soup.

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