Friday, 3 May 2013

Celeriac and Chard Soup

We are all about the vegetables over at Soup Towers this month.  For reasons that are now shrouded in the mists of time, it seemed like a good idea to go meat free for a month, so the next few soup recipes will all be veggie.  When I told my Mum I was dropping the meat, there was an amazing look of horror and disbelief on her face, and a I half expect her to come round with a care package of bacon and black puddings before the month is out.

But the truth is, like a lot of people these days, it's actually not that much of a shift to go vegetarian as about half of the meals I cook are meat-free anyway, and a quick glance down the recent blog posts here show that the vegetable soup recipes are at least as many as ones with bits of dead animal floating in them.

So after a weekend that was a veritable orgy of meat (at least one huge mixed grill, a chunky gammon steak and a hilariously long hot-dog smothered in chili) I commenced, starting with this soup.

After the last recipe, which was made entirely of items found in anyone's cupboard, this soup is a riot of fresh veg, and rather brilliant for it - in fact it used up about half of our veg box for this week - and it's also a lot like Ribollita, but without the bread to thicken it, and chard instead of cavolo nero.  However, you could pretty much chuck in whatever vegetables you have to hand and it would still be amazing...

1 Large Onion
1 Celeriac
2 Stalks Celery
1 Large Carrot
1 Can Haricot Beans
1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes
900ml Stock
4 Cloves Garlic
1tsp Thyme
1tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper

1. Peel the celeriac and cut into 1cm cubes.  Peel and chop the carrot and onion, slice the celery thinly.

2.  Heat some butter in your soup pan and  then gently cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes, until they start to soften.  Add the finely chopped garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

3.  Add the stock, tomatoes, beans, thyme and balsamic vinegar and then bring the soup to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

4.  Wash the chard, remove any tough stalks and then shred.

5.  Add the chard to the soup, adjust seasoning to taste and then cook until the chard has wilted.

6.  Serve with grated Parmesan and fresh bread.  Enjoy!

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