Celeriac gives soup a savoury celery-like flavour. It’s gorgeous!
25g (1¾ Tbsp) butter 150g (about 5 oz) dry-cured bacon, chopped 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped 12 fresh sage leaves 500g (1 lb 1 oz) agria or floury potatoes 500g (1 lb 1 oz) celeriac 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed 1 litre (about 2 pints) unsalted vegetable or chicken stock, plus a little more if required ½ tsp salt, or to taste 100ml (3-4 fl oz) cream 2 Tbsp snipped chives 2 Tbsp chopped parsley 1 Tbsp thyme leaves
1 Put butter in a saucepan with bacon, onion and sage. Cook gently for 10 minutes until tender and lightly browned, stirring often.
2 Peel potatoes and cut into smallish chunks. Use a sharp sturdy knife to remove peel from the celeriac. Wash the board and knife to remove any dirt, then cut celeriac in half. Remove any fluffy centre from celeriac halves, then cut into chunks the same size as the potatoes. Add garlic to pan, stir, then add potatoes and celeriac, stock and salt.
3 Bring to a gentle boil, lower heat, partially cover pan with a lid and cook gently for about 40 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Purée about half the soup then return it to the pan and stir it in (or mash in the pan; be sure to leave some lumpy bits to give texture). Check the seasoning, and if the soup is very thick, add a little extra stock or hot water. Swirl in cream and herbs and serve piping hot.