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Celeriac Soup with Celery Oil

Serves 6 
Takes 60 minutes, including infusing time for the oil 

It’s a smooth, comforting, sophisticated soup this, sweetly vegetal, going very well with sourdough bread. The oil doesn’t taste like much until the heat of the soup warms it a little, then you get a beautiful, slightly spicey celery-ish flavour coming through. We’ve also tried it with a tiny blob of truffle oil, and that worked a treat. If you have some, put it on the table, and let your diners serve themselves 

Celery oil 
15g celery leaves and/or par-cel leaves 
75ml groundnut oil 

1 medium onion finely sliced 
600g celeriac, peeled and diced into 1 cm cubes 
600mls either good quality veg stock or chicken stock or a combination of the two 
200mls single cream 
15g butter 
1tbsp light olive oil 

  • First make the celery oil by plunging the leaves into a bowl of boiling water for 15 seconds. Drain and refresh under cold water, and pat completely dry with kitchen towels. Whizz up the leaves with the oil in your blender and leave to infuse for an hour. Then sieve and place the oil in a container 
  • Now make the soup. Heat the butter and oil in a large pan or work, add the onion and cook slowly for 10 minutes - the onions should not brown. Add the celeriac and cook for 5 minutes. Add the stock and cream, then simmer for 15-20 minutes until the celeriac is soft. Blitz the soup in your blender until ultra smooth, and return to the pan. Season, and ladle into soup bowls. Drizzle a little of the celery oil on the surface, and serve with chunks of bread