800 grams celeriac
2 celery hearts
70 grams unsalted butter
sea salt and white pepper
1 liter chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
150 grams rindless smoked streaky bacon, diced
50 grams pine nuts
cream, for swirling, optional
Peel and chop the celeriac; trim and slice the celery hearts, reserving any inner leaves separately. Trim and slice the leeks.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a low heat. Add the leeks, celery and celeriac, sprinkle over a heaped teaspoon of sea salt and cook very gently for 30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the vegetables colouring. Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes. Purée the soup in batches in a liquidiser, pass through a sieve, whisk in the mustard and then taste to check the seasoning.
At the same time, heat the bacon in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry in the rendered fat, stirring occasionally until golden and crisp, adding the pine nuts a couple of minutes towards the end. Drain these on a double thickness of kitchen paper.
Chop a few of the reserved celery leaves for garnish. Serve the hot soup with a swirl of cream if wished and the crisp bacon and pine nuts scattered over. Decorate with the chopped celery leaves.
bacon recipe courtesy of: Annie Bell, Mail Online, January 24, 2009