Celeriac soup shots with crispy bacon

by Jeanne on November 7, 2008

in NaBloPoMo 2008, Soup

CeleriacSoupShotsTitleWeb 

I'm afraid it's going to be short & sweet tonight, folks.  I've spent the evening wrestling with our old washing machine, trying to disconnect it ahead of the new one being delivered tomorrow morning, and failing miserably.  I have no tools and no clue – and no husband as Nick is inconveniently still away…  And after discovering the Dirt of Ages underneath the machine, I lost the will to live and instead went to watch The Killers live on Jools Holland on BBC2.  Brandon Flowers rocks.

Anyway, now it's bedtime and I still owe you a post.  My mind has been on little nibbly things all week, probably owing to the fact that tomorrow night I will again be helping Johanna cater for a canape party.  So when I made this soup last week, I toyed with ideas as to how you could serve it as a canape or an amuse bouche and this is that I came up with. 

Celeriac, or celery root, may not be beautiful to look at, but it has a particularly appealing taste.  When it's warm, I love turning it into remoulade, but when it's cold I change to gratins and soups.  This soup is really simple and lets the sweetish, celery-like taste of the celeriac shine through.  I garnished with smoky bacon crisps, but you could play around with various tangy garnishes – I even contemplated a teensy scoop of wholegrain mustard cream as a riff on remoulade.   The soup is thick and therefore relatively easy to carry without spilling, which is always a bonus when you are the poor sod serving the canapes!  Of course, you could also just dish it up in bowls as normal – it's delicious in large or small portions :)

CREAMY CELERIAC SOUP WITH CRISPY BACON (makes about 24 shots, or serves 6)

Ingredients:

1 celeriac (about 1kg), peeled and choppedCeleriacSoupShotsIIWeb
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped (or half and half onion and leek)
1 potato, peeled and cubed
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
750 ml chicken stock
100ml single cream (or milk)
50g butter
salt and pepper
2 thick cut rashers of smoked bacon

Method:

Prepare the celeriac first and place the peeled pieces in a bowl of water to which you've added a couple of tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice – otherwise the celeriac will go brown or even black.

Heat the butter in a large saucepan and add all the vegetables.  Season with salt and pepper and then allow to cook gently for about 10 minutes until they are just starting to soften. 

Add the stock, bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and allow the soup to simmer for about 25 minutes. 

In the meanwhile, cut up the bacon into thin strips not more than 1 inch long.  Heat a frying pan and toss them in – they should render enough fat that you don't need to add oil to cook them.  Fry over high heat until the bacon pieces are starting to look crisp and golden around the edges.  Remove and drain on paper towels.

Check if the celeriac is tender enough to mash - if so, remove from the heat and liquidise the mixture.  Return to the heat and stir in the cream or milk.  Check for consistency (add more milk if the soup is too thick) and season to taste.  

If using shot glasses, allow the soup to cool for about 5 minutes, then using a small funnel, pour the soup into the glasses.  Garnish each with a couple of bacon crisps and serve immediately. 

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Manggy November 8, 2008 at 2:42 am

Jeanne, those are just the perfect size for tiny eaters like me! Looks delicious!
I haven’t yet heard anything from the new album. I wonder if it’ll be as good as the first :) Good luck with the washer!

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Kit November 8, 2008 at 9:54 am

It’s crazy but I’ve never eaten celeriac – it sounds delicious though and the crispy bacon is wonderfully appetising. I could down it in one!

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Caroline November 8, 2008 at 10:59 am

Not only does it look delicious but it sounds delicious!

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Claudia November 8, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Gorgeous soup.
I can feel the taste just by imagining it. Soup season starts soon chez moi.
Good weekend, Jeanne,
Claudia

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Andrea November 8, 2008 at 2:45 pm

Lucky! I love the killers! This is a beautiful soup. I’ve been seeing celeriac at the farmers market but I don’t really know what it is and I’ve never had it. Since I have a tendency to buy anything that I’m unfamiliar with in the produce department, next time I see it I’ll grab it up and know that I have a lovely soup recipe just waiting to be made. Thanks!

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dawnielle November 8, 2008 at 3:20 pm

Jeanne, your California foodie friend here is not sure what celeriac is. This is your second post that I’ve seen with it. So is it a member of the celery family, akin to fennel?? Prey tell, inquiring minds want to know!

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Angela November 9, 2008 at 12:21 pm

Well, this answers my age-old question of what to do with the other half of the celeriac after making a gratin. The soup looks fantastic and my tastebuds are happily imagining the smoky-sweet flavour of the bacon against the earthy creaminess of the soup. Wonderful combo, and good luck with the party!

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grace November 9, 2008 at 2:09 pm

i do believe i’d prefer a shot of soup to a shot of booze. yes. yes i would. i’m unfamiliar with celeriac, but it looks like it turns out a pretty phenomenal soup!

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Peter November 9, 2008 at 5:34 pm

I like the idea of offering a soup sample as a cocktail offering, creative it is.
Celeriac is a new fave veggie and this is elegant, fun and refreshing for the dinner party circuit.

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Zarah Maria November 9, 2008 at 9:10 pm

Mmm, soup – this looks (and sounds) great! I’m all for shot glasses, or even water glasses, if you want to serve a slightly bigger size (for tapas, for instance) – I don’t know what I’d do without the vast collection I seem to be gathering. I’m sure my boyfriend knows though ;)

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Jude November 11, 2008 at 3:58 am

I could never bring myself to put celeriac in my grocery.. Looks scary and quite frankly, I don’t know what to do with it. I guess having it with bacon makes it much more appealing :)

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Elra November 11, 2008 at 6:12 pm

Jeanne,
I never cook celeriac, but I do make it often for remoulade. My family adore this type of salad. I am tempted to try it, wonder if my family will like it?
Cheers,
Elra

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Erik November 11, 2008 at 8:35 pm

I have never used celeriac before, but now I want to run out and get some! Nice job on the shots, but I have to admit that I think I would prefer this in a bucket and a very large spoon. Actually, there is probably no need to take it out of the pot; I can just eat it as is.
The only problem then is fending off the intruders, such as my children. Stand back! Get your own soup!

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Amanda November 12, 2008 at 2:30 am

So pretty–and it sounds delicious! I was trying to think of some kind of easy appetizer/first course for Thanksgiving, and this just might be it. Thanks!

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