Sunday, 10 November 2013

Selleriesuppe! - An Autumn Warmer!

The Spreewald in Autumn
I love 'der Herbst'; it's my favorite time of year for the colours in the forests, misty mornings, and the beautiful sunsets. It is also a bit melancholy as you start to think about the long, cold Winter ahead, but here's a heart-warming recipe for after a nippy afternoon walk in the woods - celery soup (Selleriesuppe).

Celery is in full season at the moment and is cheap and plentiful in the shops. In German, it is called 'der Sellerie', which is easy to remember. Celery is very low in calories, high in dietary fibre, and rich in vitamins (especially vitamin K). It also tastes scrummy! But don't forget it has a high sodium content, so don't go adding any salt to celery dishes.

Celery Soup Recipe

Serves 2

Ingredients:

300g celery stalks and leaves, sliced
1 medium-sized onion ~140g , finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 small potato ~100g, peeled and diced
2 table-spoons olive oil
500ml vegetable stock
1 handfull flat-leafed parsley, roughly chopped
A good twist or three of black pepper and grated nutmeg to season to taste
A bay leaf
(you could also add a tablespoon or two of single cream).
NO salt!

Method:

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan
2. Add the celery, onion, garlic and potatoes. Turn down the heat, cover the pan, and let soften (but not brown) for ten minutes.
3. Uncover the pan and pour in 500ml of vegetable stock. If making up from stock powder, reduce the usual amount or the soup might get too salty. For example, I use Knorr Gemüse Bouillon, and 1 and a half teaspoons to 500ml boiling water is ample.
4. Bring to the boil then reduce to a gentle simmer.
5. Add the chopped parsley, a couple of twists of freshly milled black pepper, and grate in about half a teaspoon of nutmeg.
6. Throw in a bay leaf. A few stalks of thyme also go well - but remember to remove after cooking.
7. Do NOT add salt!
8. Cover and let simmer gently for 15 minutes.
9. Take off the heat, remove the bay leaf (essential!)  then whizz up with a hand-blender or food processor until silky smooth. At this stage you could also whizz in a bit of single cream too, if you are being naughty.
10. Taste for seasoning and add more black pepper or nutmeg if required.
11. Return to the heat, warm it back up to piping hot, then serve in soup bowls. Garnish with celery leaves or a swhirl of single cream if you want.
12. Serve with crusty bread (or from a Thermos flask on the banks of Gorinsee, as we did today during a bike ride).

And that's my celery soup recipe. Guten Appetit!

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