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 test
drivecook 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
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
2 Litres Cold Water
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)
5ml Dijon Mustard
15ml finely chopped Fresh Parsley
Salt and White Peppercorns
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 crusty 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.
I would be a really really bad friend if I did not share this with all my Cape Town based food loving friends and readers. Have you got Giftmas Stockings to fill? Of course you have. These products make wonderful stocking fillers. Or get a selection boxed for a special someone! I attended the first NoMU sale last year this time and it was hip, happening and awesome. Am definitely going with my gift list clutched in my sweaty paws again this year. And unashamedly my name will be at the top of MY list…..and the husband will accompany me to carry the parcels and flash the moola!
Be there or be square……….big time!! NoMUUUU Sherlock!
Disclaimer: I did not receive any promting, requesting or payment to do this blog post.
I just want to share something this big with all of you!
See you there,
Boerewors (literal translation farm sausage) is such a versatile ingredient to have on hand in the freezer. You can pop it onto the grid over hot coals, pop it into the oven to bake, remove it from its casing and make meat balls to serve with pasta or in soup, or make hamburger patties or any other number of delicious things. Or you can cook it on the stove top like I did last night. This is the method that I enjoy the most. You can zwoosh it up in any number of ways by what you add to the pan…and the beauty of it all is that rich delicious gravy that you have to pour over your hot mash
Now we all know that there is wors in the fridges at the stores…..if it is labelled just WORS it does not have a high percentage of ground meat in it and can have lots of cereal additives to bulk it up….then there is BOEREWORS….which has to contain 90% and upwards of meat product. That is the real McCoy! Boerewors comes in a mulitude of flavour (herb and spices)combinations, some nicer than other but it all depends on your personal flavour choices. My family has always enjoy the thick Grabouw boerewors made with ground beef and pork and flavoured delicately with clove and nutmeg. We love it on the braai and always cook more than we need so that we can enjoy the ubiquitous boerie roll the next day for lunch – on a soft hot dog roll smothered in oozy delicious home made tomato and onion smoor. But I digress….back to the stove-top creation. . The surrounding mountains have been covered in a very late Spring dusting of snow, thunder, rain and hail accompanied by icy winds have been the order of the day around here….while the rest of the country has been melting in the midst of a heatwave. At this time of year I am usually complaining about the heat as I bake Christmas cake orders and so it has been very comfortable for me to bake while it is chilly outside! Sorry rest of the country! And we have enjoyed lovely comforting meals like this boerewors with wasabi mash, gravy and steamed green veggies.
BOEREWORS AND GRAVY WITH WASABI MASH & STEAMED VEGETABLES
20ml Olive Oil
2 Red Onions
1 Clove Garlic
Few sprigs of Fresh Thyme
100g Cherry or Baby Rosa Tomatoes – whole
Sweet Balsamic Glaze – I used the Verlaque Wild-Flower Honey Infused Balsamic Reduction
Splash of Verjuice to deglaze the pan
10ml NoMU Beef Fond
250ml Boiling Water
20mls Tomato Sauce/Ketchup
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Ice cold cubes of butter – about 50g
Place the boerewors in a large saucepan or deep frying pan with a glug of olive oil and brown gently on both sides, remove and set aside
Peel and slice the onions (no need to chop),add to the pan with a bit more olive oil and the balsamic glaze and saute gently until limp and transparent
Add the thyme (I add the whole sprigs and fish them out before serving) garlic and cherry tomatoes and saute a few minutes longer
Deglaze the pan with a splash of Verjuice (you could use red or white wine or even Sherry or Marsala) then add the beef stock (mix the fond in the boiling water), tomato sauce, a good grinding of black pepper and the browned boerewors.
Bring to the boil, reduce heat and cover with a lid. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down a bit and the sauce has reduced.
Turn off the heat and stir in the butter cubes to give a thick glossy rich sauce/gravy
Serve with steaming hot Wasabi Mash and Steamed Vegetables
WASABI MASHED POTATOES
Serves 4 hungry souls
800g Potatoes – peeled, cubed and boiled in slightly salted boiling water
10-15ml Wasabi Paste – I use Wasabi-O putting the OOOOOH into Wasabi
Ground White Pepper (my secret ingredient in any mashed potato!)
Boil the potatoes in slightly salty water until just done – never overboil that they turn to mush!
Drain the boiled potatoes completely then add a generous splash of milk (sorry I never measure) and about 50g Butter and return to the heat just to warm the milk and start the butter melting
Remove from heat and mash all the ingredients together, sprinkling on some white pepper and a bit more salt if needed
Serve piping hot with boerewors and vegetables of your choice – The wasabi just gives extra oomph to the boerewors…like hot english mustard or horsradish does to a rare roast beef sarmie
A simple meal, made real easy!