Celeriac velouté with chive cream & crispy pancetta
serves 6| prep 20 mins (+ chilling time) | cooking 25 mins
6 thin slices pancetta 50g unsalted butter 1kg celeriac, peeled, coarsely chopped 1 brown onion, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, crushed 6 sprigs fresh thyme 1L (4 cups) milk Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle (optional) Crusty bread, to serve
150g crème fraîche (or sour cream) 1 tbs lemon juice 1 tbs Dijon mustard 1 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped 150ml pouring cream
1 For the chive cream, whisk the crème fraîche in a bowl until smooth. Whisk in lemon juice and mustard. Stir in chives. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the pouring cream until soft peaks form. Fold into crème fraîche mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour or until firm. 2 Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the pancetta in a single layer on the prepared tray. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until golden. Set aside to crisp. 3 Meanwhile, heat butter in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Add celeriac, onion, garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until vegetables have softened slightly (but are not coloured). Add milk (top up with water if the vegetables are not covered). Stir constantly and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. 4 Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Season to taste. Divide the soup among bowls. Top with a generous dollop of chive cream and broken pieces of pancetta. Drizzle with olive oil, if using, and serve with crusty bread.
“Celeriac is an underused root vegetable, but it is really versatile and beautiful.” Manu Feildel