As most of you know I studied culinary at George Brown College in Toronto for about a year. While I was there I realized that cooking was not for me and went in another direction. But my year spent there was not wasted; I learned a lot of valuable information about cooking and have an awesome selection of recipes.
At George Brown, every week we had a demo and then had to recreate the dish in the lab the next day. The second week into the program, it was soup week, and we had to make a celery and celeriac soup with a Benedictin cheese croutons. It was going well, I made the proper notes and prep went smoothly. But when it came time to take the crouton out of the oven I pressed my left wrist into the edge of a 500 F pan. The burn blistered right away and I was rushed to the nurse’s office. In the panic of things I forgot to turn off my burner and as a result I came back, bandaged, to a burnt soup. Being a New Year I thought I could revel in a little redemption and give the recipe another try. I hope you enjoy.
Celery and Celeriac Soup with Benedictin Cheese Croutons and Parsnip
1/3 cup butter
¼ Spanish onion
½ leek (white part only)
½ celeriac or celery root
2 celery stalks
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 ½ L chicken stock/ vegetable stock
60 ml 35% cream
salt and pepper to taste
60 g Benedictin cheese
- Dice the onion, leek, celery root and celery into small squares.
- In a large pot melt the butter and sweat the onion, leek, celery root and celery for a few minutes. [Sweat: gentle heating of vegetables over low heat in a small amount of butter or oil]
- Add the flour and cook for about 2 minutes over low heat. [Combining flour, butter and vegetables makes an aromatic roux, which acts as a thickening agent and a flavour base for the soup].
- Gradually add the chicken or vegetable stock and bring to a boil. You can add the salt and pepper at this point.
- Once it is boiling lower heat and simmer for about 30-40 minutes.
- Slice the baguette into thin slices and pan fry in some butter until they are golden brown. Slice the Benedictin cheese and place in the oven using the broiler setting for about 2 minutes.
- Dice the parsnip and pan fry until soft.
- Strain the soup into a bowl to remove the solids. Pour the soup into a saucepan over low heat.
- Place half of the strained vegetables into a blender and blend until smooth. You can add some of the hot soup to the blender to help the process.
- Whisk the blended vegetables into the soup and add 35% cream. Bring the soup to a boil.
- Remove from heat and place the Benedictin crouton and parsnip on top.