Try Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's celeriac, sprouts and bacon soup

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Create simple hearty food with a little help from Mr. River Cottage himself...

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall bacon soup

© Photography by Simon Wheeler 2012

We love a good recipe book and we're particularly impressed with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Three Good Things On A Plate.

Now that winter is on the way we're going to be giving his tasty celeriac soup recipe a try - the addition of sprouts is the perfect Christmassy touch...

Celeriac, sprouts, bacon

Hugh says, "I quite often blitz surplus root veg and cooked greens together. Brussels sprouts puréed with creamed celeriac and some stock was a particularly successful improvisation, and now I make this lovely soup from scratch. A handful of crisp, salty bacon bits is a great finishing touch".

Serves 4

Ingredients:

30g butter
1–2 tablespoons sunflower, rapeseed or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
500g celeriac, peeled and cubed
700ml vegetable stock
200g Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced
4–6 rashers of unsmoked streaky bacon or pancetta, cut into small lardons
100ml double cream, or milk (if you prefer a lighter soup)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

Heat the butter and one tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and sweat gently for a few minutes

Add the celeriac, stir to combine, then cover and sweat for about 10 minutes to soften.

Add the stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes until the celeriac is tender. Add the sprouts, return to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes more. Puree the whole lot in a blender until smooth. Return to the pan.

While the soup is cooking, heat a trickle more oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the bacon until crisp and golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper.

Add the cream or milk to the soup and reheat gently. Season with salt and pepper and serve, scattered with the bacon. Minus one For a vegetarian version, just serve the soup without the bacon.

Swaps

Some toasted blanched almonds or crispy, garlicky bread croutons are great alternatives to the bacon to give the soup a bit of a fancy finish.

Hugh's Three Good Things on A Plate, £14.75, amazon.co.uk

Three Good things on a plate cover


Published by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2012. Recipes by High Fearnley-Whittingstall, 2012.
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