Celeriac Soup with Hazelnut and Sage Pesto

Recipe taken from Clodagh’s Suppers: Suppers to celebrate the seasons by Clodagh McKenna and published in Psychologies Magazine (February 2019).

A great soup to make during the winter months.  The flavour of the celeriac has nutty undertones, and the consistency of the soup is so creamy.  The pesto adds a delicious crunchy texture and earthy flavour.  You can make it a few days ahead, and it freezes really well, so double the recipe when you are making it!

celeriac soup

Serves : 6

Ingredients :
50g butter
1 celeriac, peeled and chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1 onion, chopped
75g blanched hazelnuts
1 ltr hot vegetable stock
100ml crème fraiche
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Hazelnut and Sage Pesto
75g blanched hazelnuts
2 tblsp finely chopped sage
2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil

Step One : Place a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and add the butter.  Once the butter has melted, add the celeriac, celery, onion and whole hazelnuts, and season with salt and pepper.  Stir well, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with foil or your butter wrapper and pop the lid back on.  Leave the vegetables to sweat for 15 minutes.

Step Two : Next, make the hazelnut and sage pesto.  Place a frying pan over a high heat, add the hazelnuts and shake the pan frequently to toast the nuts evenly, for three minutes – this will release all the oils and the flavour.  Add the chopped sage to the extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl.

Step Three : Tip the toasted hazelnuts onto one half of a clean tea towel, then fold over the other half of the tea towel to cover and bash the nuts with a rolling pin until crushed.  Add the crushed nuts to the olive oil and sage, mix together well and set aside.

Step Four : Add the hot stock to the vegetables that have sweated down and bring to the boil, then leave to cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender.  Transfer the soup of a blender or food processor, or use a hand blender, and blend to a smooth consistency.  Return the soup to the saucepan, if necessary.  Stir in the crème fraiche, season and place over a medium heat to warm through.  Serve the soup in warmed bowls with the hazelnut and sage pesto drizzled on top.

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