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Spud Sunday: A Winter’s Soup

As I sat down to write this, I got a distinct feeling of déjà vu.

Sure enough, as I looked through my back catalogue, a post written this time two years ago features a white winter soup with potato and celeriac [1], and words about the kind of simple food we want to eat in the aftermath of the Christmas season. Yesterday, history repeated itself and I made a similar kind of soup for similar kinds of reasons. Not exactly the same – life never is, quite – but, nevertheless, it fulfilled the same, warming purpose.

Potato, Celeriac & Broad Bean Soup

Potato & broad bean soup

This is about as simple as it gets: fry some onion and garlic, add the veg, beans, herbs and water, bring to a boil, simmer until softened, blend and you’re done. The split, dried broad beans (or fava beans) – like split peas or lentils – can be cooked without any pre-soaking and, together with the potato, make a good, thick soup base. ‘Nuff said.

The Summary:

  • Makes around 4 servings & takes approx. 15 min to prep + 45 min to cook

You’ll need:

  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 onion, around 125g, finely chopped
  • 2-3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 250-300g potato, peeled and cut into approx 1cm chunks
  • 250-300g celeriac, peeled and cut into approx 1cm chunks
  • 250g dried, split broad beans (fava beans)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1l water
  • 1.5 tsp salt, or more to taste
  • 1-2 tblsp lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • chopped fresh dill (optional)

You’ll also need:

  • A blender or food processor to blend the soup (a hand-held immersion blender is ideal)

The Steps:

  • Place a large, heavy saucepan over a medium heat. When hot, add vegetable oil to coat the pan. Add the chopped onion and stir and fry for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the chopped garlic and fry for another minute or so.
  • Add the potato, celeriac, dried split beans, bay leaves and thyme. Stir briefly, then add the water along with about 1.5 tsp salt
  • Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the beans and the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat, remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs and blend until fairly smooth.
  • Add lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper to taste and additional salt if the soup needs it. The soup will be fairly thick, so use additional boiling water to thin to your desired consistency.
  • Serve scattered with some chopped parsley and/or chopped dill, as the fancy takes you.

The Variations:

  • Instead of using half and half potato and celeriac, you could try this with either celeriac or potato on its own (if the latter, you could try adding a couple of sticks of finely chopped celery or a few pinches of celery seed). You could also add around 100g pearl barley at the same time as the vegetables to bulk it up further.