Roast Celeriac, Squash Soup with Ricotta and Crispy Leek
I was at the Harwood Arms for lunch yesterday for the launch of a new Distilled non-alcoholic spirit called Seedlip. The drink was delicious and perfect for those who do not drink/don’t want to but still want to have something interesting to sip. It was made even more tasty when guests were allowed to enjoy lunch at the 1 Michelin Starred pub. One particular thing that caught my eye was this creamy gently cooked celeriac that we ate with the slow cooked veal. It was so perfectly cooked and it makes a welcome change from always eating potatoes with a roast. I usually use it for mash but it is stunning in this chunky soup. These flavours are far stronger after being roasted and bring a wonderful natural sweetness to the recipe.
This is gluten-free.
For the roast vegetables
1 celeriac (600g), chopped into equal small pieces
1 butternut squash (900g), chopped into equal small pieces
4 tbsp olive oil
small bunch of thyme leaves
1 medium leek, finely sliced
sea salt and black pepper
For the soup base:
1 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 tbsp fennel seeds
140g cherry tomatoes, halved
800ml hot chicken/veg stock
100g ricotta cheese for serving
Preheat oven to 190 degrees and line two baking trays with baking parchment. Place the squash and celeriac pieces into a bowl along with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix everything together and divide the vegetables between the trays. Place into the oven for about 35 minutes until they are cooked and soft. It could be less time depending on the size of the pieces.
On a separate tray add a smaller piece baking parchment and add the chopped leek. Dress in a tablespoon of olive oil with salt and pepper and place into the oven for about 10 minutes while the other vegetables are cooking. It should have softened and a few bits will go golden and crispy. Remove and leave to one side.
While everything is roasting start with the soup base and set a large saucepan to a medium to high heat. Add in the olive oil followed by the diced red onion and fennel seeds. Let these fry for a couple of minutes until the onions soften. Then mix in the diced garlic and stir for another minute before throwing in the tomato halves and 2 tablespoons of the stock. Let the tomatoes soften and cook for about 4 minutes and remove from the heat.
When the roast squash and celeriac are ready scrape into the saucepan and put in about 2/3 of the hot stock. Use a stick blender to pulse-blend the vegetables and create a nice chunky soup consistency adding in more stock to taste. Taste to check the seasoning and return the pan to the heat to warm through. Serve straight away with small spoonfuls of ricotta and the roasted leek sprinkled on top. This soup keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days and freezes well.