Celeriac and Bacon Soup

May 19th

Bacon…..a word that makes me drool…and an ingredient that I love incorporating into recipes! It’s just one of the things I love about the low carb high fat lifestyle that I am following. So when I popped out to visit that lovely little organic market on the way to Noordhoek one chilly wet day last weekend and discovered a beautiful big celeriac root just waiting for me to grab I knew exactly what I wanted to make. Soup! And I knew just what I was going to cook it in too. A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by the PR agency for the home specialist store, Boardmans South Africa, who asked me if I would like to testdrivecook one of their Beka Ilano Saucepans, a new range from Europe now available at Boardmans. I jumped at the chance….I mean really, if you love food and you love to cook then cookware is your thing right? The new Beka range of cookware is suitable for all types of heating, including induction and oven cooking and it is made of stainless steel inside and out. The brief was to cook a one pot meal and I had been sent the 20cm sized saucepan which is an ideal size for Mr Brownieboy and myself. I really enjoyed working with this environmentally friendly little pot, it is light to handle although sturdy with a heavy bottom, it has an innovative flat glass lid with a little steam vent and it is calibrated up the inside wall which makes measuring a breeze. It is also attractive enough to grace a family dinner table. The Beka cookware range is dishwasher proof and comes with a 10 year warranty from date of purchase. I look forward to getting to know this baby much better over the next 10 years!

Now, let’s get onto the serious subject of the cooking! I have only used celeriac once before here , also in a soup but I wanted to change the flavours this time and decided to use the fabulous Richard Bosman bacon that I bought the same morning at the Foodbarn Deli at Noordhoek Village to do the flavouring. I also have some lovely French Tarragon growing in the garden so I knew that would give a lovely added flavour to this soup I was planning. Celeriac is an old friend of cooks, mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey which was composed during the 8th century BC, it is something that you don’t find very often in store around here so when you can find it grab it and take it home! The really ugly sister of the root veggies this vegetable is often overlooked because of its knobbly, gnarled outward appearance but inside…oh my it is white and creamy and delicious! Many also shy away from it because of the name…but don’t let that put you off, if you are not a celery lover this cousin doesn’t taste much like celery. It cooks up nicely and it purees beautifully smooth. So let’s get onto the soup. Husband, who is one of those who eats soup with really long teeth, absolutely loved this soup, ate the leftovers the next day and proclaimed them to be even more delicious. I gave the last mugful to my neighbour to try as she had never tried celeriac herself and wanted to know what it tasted like. She sent me a text message a little later saying she wants to come and live with me HAHA! This stuff wins hearts and influences neighbours!

CELERIAC AND BACON SOUP

Serves 4

 

Ingredients:

1 Large Celeriac – to measure 500g when peeled and cubed

1 Large Onion

2 Medium sized Pears – peeled and chopped

4 Garlic Cloves – peeled and finely sliced

1 Lemon

2 Litres Cold Water

50g Butter

120g Streaky Bacon (half of it diced up and the other half left whole)

Fresh Thyme – the leaves from 4 or 5 sprigs

10ml finely chopped Fresh Tarragon

5ml Fennel Seeds

500ml Full Fat Milk

1,5 Litres hot chicken or vegetable stock (I usually make my own stock but when I haven’t I prefer to use NoMU Fonds – the best IMO)

250ml Cream

5ml Dijon Mustard

15ml finely chopped Fresh Parsley

Salt and White Peppercorns

Method:

Peel and chop the onions. Peel and slice the garlic

Finely grate the zest off of half the lemon and set aside

Peel and dice the pears and the celeriac. Place into a glass bowl and squeeze over all the juice from the lemon then add the cold water and set aside

Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan and add the onions and thyme leaves – allow to cook for 10 minutes over low heat until pale and translucent

Add the diced bacon to the pan and allow to saute until all the fat is rendered and the bacon is starting to crisp. Don’t let the onions burn while this is happening….stir often!

Drain chopped celeriac and pears from the water, discard water, add celeriac and pears to the saucepan with the zest, garlic and fennel seeds, stir fry for a minute or two to coat everything with the butter and rendered bacon fat in the pan

Add the tarragon and mustard and a good grinding of white peppercorns (no salt at this stage) and stir in the milk and heat through

Add the hot stock up to the 2 litre calibrated mark in the saucepan and bring to a rolling boil, reduce heat to low, cover saucepan with lid and allow to simmer for 20 minutes

Remove from the heat, allow to cool for 10-15 minutes

While waiting for the soup to cool down fry the remaining bacon strips until crisp then set aside

Blend the soup in the saucepan with a handheld stick blender until silky smooth (or use a food processor)

Return to the heat, add the parsley and 200ml cream and heat through gently – don’t boil

Taste and season with salt and white pepper if necessary

Divide soup into 4 warmed bowls, swirl in some extra cream or creme fraiche, crumble over a bit of crispy bacon and some black salt flakes (optional) and serve with a seed bread

I served mine with the wonderful #LCHF #banting friendly seeded flax and almond meal loaf that I baked the day before. So an all round guilt free, healthy for you, meal. Pure comfort on a cold winters day. Seed loaf recipe to follow soon as promised to all those who have asked for it.

I have since used the Beka saucepan to potroast a small sirloin roast on top of the stove that came out beautifully tender and moist and so full of flavour. I can see I am going to have some fun times in the kitchen with Mz Beka!

Thank you to Boardmans for providing the cookware for this review. In accordance with my blog policy I have declared that I received free product for this review, I did not, under any circumstances, receive monetary payment as incentive to write positively about the product. The expressed opinion of said product is my honest and personal opinion and view.

Have a super new week blog readers,

And do go in search of celeriac and try this soup! I know you will love it.

browniegirl xx

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