January days so far in our part of England have been mild, grey dishwater days. That is about to change, with a blast of the Arctic cold that has been freezing mainland Europe, even to the Greek islands. The North East US is shivering, too, and even North Carolina isn’t immune, to the surprise of family there who thought they’d left snow behind when they moved from New Jersey.
This seems the perfect time to share two warming discoveries I’ve made this year from gardener/cook and former doctor, Sarah Raven. The first is a pot of celeriac and apple soup, a really excellent soup of substance; and to go with it, a winter squash soda bread that is a thing of genius, the perfect accompaniment to soup and much else. Together they are energising and wholesome enough to rouse the higher faculties from hibernation and warm the bones.
The soup is one I’ve made a few times this year and it’s consistently excellent: very nicely balanced and more complex than a lot of vegetable purée soups, which as good as they are, can rely somewhat on a single note. There are depths of flavour in this one from the two kinds of apple, the onion, garlic and celery, and a good stock. The blue stilton garnish adds a contrasting salty finish. [Read More…]