I've found it very hard to take an attractive photo of this soup. The colour is not that inspiring (I was tempted to use some kind of app to brighten things up) despite various attempts to find the 'best side' of this soup. But then I guess it doesn't really matter because the soup is for eating, not looking at.
I first had this flavour of soup at the Ballroom Cafe on Riddiford St, Wellington. I was attending some kind of dreary mandatory team bonding kind of meeting that involved lunch. I had my meal all planned out, but when the person next to me ordered the Leek and Celeriac Soup I decided to follow suit.
I figured it would not be too hard to replicate, and over the last couple of years I have enjoyed playing around with the recipe. When I say recipe I kind of mean method. Lately I've seen dozens of recipes for pumpkin soup - every family has their own special version and I've been absorbing all the different methods. One thing I really like about cooking is learning techniques that allow you to personalise your meals.
For me, I wanted the soup to be creamy without needing to add too much cream. I actually found that adding potato did this really well.
Leek and Celeriac Soup (approximate amounts - this soup changes with every batch)
Two small or one large celeriac (peeled and diced int
Two fat leeks (or three narrow leeks)
Two or three large floury potatoes (the soup all gets blended at the end so don't need waxy potatoes that hold together).
Two cups stock (I used chicken)
Salt and Pepper
Put the leeks and onions in a heavy bottomed saucepan and on a low-medium heat saute in olive oil. Add a teaspoon of salt and cook for around ten minutes. You don't want the onions and leek to caramelise, but you do want to sweat out the moisture (I find this helps to make the onion and leeks sweeter). Add the celeriac and potato and turn up to a medium heat. Add the stock and further salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for around forty minutes. I use my stick blender to blend the soup in the pot - otherwise let the soup cool and put it in a blender (never put hot soup into a blender unless you have someone prepared to video the resulting disaster for playing on YouTube). You may wish to adjust the seasoning once blended.
I do like a little cream added to this soup. To prevent curdling I add it while serving (say a little cream in the bowl or adding a spoon of creme fraiche).
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