Celeriac gives soup a wonderfully deep celery flavour. Bacon, garlic, sage, potatoes and cream round out the flavours for this really tasty soup.
25g (1¾ Tbsp) butter 150g (about 5 oz) free-range dry-cured bacon 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped 12 fresh sage leaves 500g agria (1 lb 1 oz) potatoes 500g celeriac (1 lb 1 oz) 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed ½ tsp salt, or to taste 1 litre (about 2 pints) unsalted light chicken or vegetable stock 100ml (3-4 fl oz) cream 2 Tbsp snipped chives 2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley 1 Tbsp thyme leaves
1 Put butter in a pan with bacon, onion and sage. Cook gently for about 10 minutes, until tender and lightly browned, stirring often.
2 Peel potatoes and cut into smallish cubes. Use a sharp sturdy knife to remove the peel from the celeriac. Rinse celeriac, the board and knife to remove any dirt, then cut celeriac in half. Remove any fluffy matter in the centres, then cut into small chunks the same size as the potatoes. Add garlic to pan, cook for 1 minute, then add celeriac, potatoes, salt and stock.
3 Bring to a gentle boil, lower heat, partially cover with a lid and cook gently for about 40 minutes until vegetables are tender. Purée about half the soup, then return it to the pan. Alternatively, and much easier, mash soup in the pan with a potato masher, making sure to leave plenty of lumpy bits for texture. Check the seasoning, and if the soup is very thick, add a little extra hot stock or hot water. Swirl in cream and herbs and serve piping hot.