La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France at the time. We chose it while on the road, moving house the first time round, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like we did and like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, after yet another stint in Ireland, we're back in France @ Le Mas d'Ayen

Monday, October 26, 2015

Celeriac Soup

If you've read through my blog every now and then, you might know which one is my fav vegetable. Yup, it is celeriac !
So when I was out shopping the other day and discovered 4 specimen in the supermarket, I was delighted. Three of them jumped into my trolley and one was left behind, all by its lonesome, hoping another 'adventurous'  cook would take pity and take it home.
Meals containing celeriac are comforting to me and at the same time they exude festivity.
So, what do you think ? Shall I give you the soup recipe now ?

I made double the amount of the recipe that follows, because I had a dinner party and wanted some soup for the freezer.
  • 2 tbsp butter, or sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and roughly cut
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and roughly cut
  • 1 small sized (like in the pic above) or half a large one
  • 1 fat garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sprig of thyme
  • 2 ltr vegetable stock
  • 250 ml double cream
  • seasoning (salt & black pepper)
Here is how you go about cutting and peeling a celeriac.
Halve  the beast with a large kitchen knife and cut into 2 cm slices. Peel with a paring knife (a potato peeler is not up to this). Cut into batons, then cubes. 

  • Melt the butter (or heat up the oil) in a large cooking pot, on the hob
  • Sautee the vegetables with the herbs and garlic for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the stock and bring to the boil

  • Let it simmer/rolling boil with or without lid till the veg are tender.
  • If you cook your soup without lid, the stock will reduce much more than when you cover the pot and you will get a much thicker consistency. You'll get the same result if you cook for much longer than strictly needed.  But that isn't necessarily a bad thing.  It is all a matter of preference.
  • With a stick blender, but not before you take out the bay leaf and woody thyme, turn this into a smooth soup. You can blend with any blender obviously, but why make life difficult for yourself. Invest in a stick blender. My second one in 30 something years has been going strong for nigh on 20.
You see this ? That is too thick for my liking. I don't want to use a knife to cut the soup.
No drama!
  • If you feel your soup is too thick, add boiling water to the pot and cook through again for a few minutes. 
  • Add cream too, if you so wish, and adjust seasoning with sea salt and plenty of black pepper.
Smooth and velvety. Dunk in a chunk of quality bread.
We like it with Blue Cheese and Nut Bread for which the recipe is in the making. So please come back for that at least.

Patricia xxx...x


  1. Winter warming soups are just what is on the cards from now on and this recipe sounds delicious, although I can't have cream so would have to swap it out for some yoghurt, which is no problem :-)

    I had a vegetable stew last night and purposefully left enough in the pan to whizz up for a quick lunch of veggie soup today, I'm so glad I did the house is pretty chilly today.

    1. Yoghurt should work just as well. Actually it might give the soup an extra lift, because of the acidity.

      Yes, autumn has truly arrived here too with brisk wind gusts. Soups and stews for the win !

  2. It sounds delicious, just the thing now the cold weather seems to be here to stay x

  3. I adore celariac too! It really gives a lovely savoury taste to soups and stews - even if you don't like a celery taste, like my dear OH who always really enjoys the soup, but always frowns when he sees me getting out the celariac!

    1. Indeed, celery and celeriac taste so different to me and I like them both. Celeriac has a smoother, almost nutty and an ever so slightly aniseed taste.
      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

  4. I'm one of those people who likes Celeriac but dislikes Celery. Something to do with the stringy nature of Celery, probably. I like eating Celeriac raw - just in chunks, or perhaps in a more refined way as part of a Remoulade.

  5. yummy soup ready in minutes! Thanks for sharing step by step process...

  6. I am not mad about celeriac the way you are, but I don't mind it and that lonesome one probably would have ended up in my trolley as I hardly see them here at supermarkets, I often make a burger like savoury cake with it - a fritter - yup.


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