Winter Velvet Soup

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This is a soup my mum always used to make on Boxing Day with generous amounts of cream and brandy but is equally good without. I used a local cheese called Blue Bay made in Sharpham, Devon but any blue cheese will be fine.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium celeriac (about 700g), chopped
  • 1 large potato (about 200g), chopped
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1.5 litres vegetable or chicken stock
  • 500ml milk
  • 100g soft blue cheese, eg Cambozola
  • Brandy, splash or glug (optional)
  • Cream to drizzle on top (optional)
  • Sage leaves, (fresh or fried in butter) to garnish, (optional)

Method

  • Gently fry the onion for 5 minutes or so
  • Add the celeriac, potato, onion, celery, leek, and garlic, give it all a good stir then pour over the stock
  • Cook on a medium heat until the celeriac and potato are soft, about 20 minutes
  • Add the milk, 90g of the cheese and brandy, if using, and cook for a further 5 minutes
  • Blend with a food processor or hand blender
  • Pour into bowls, crumble the remaining blue cheese on top with a swirl of cream and sage leaves if using
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Miso, Ginger and Garlic Dressing

 

I started making this when running Ayabe Yoshimizu Guesthouse where there were several vats of rich dark miso in the basement that the owner had locally made. The guests could not get enough of this robust zesty, salty-sweet dressing, which works equally well over a green salad or as for a dip for small crunchy Japanese cucumbers. My son, however, likes to simply pour it over rice

The rich dark hatcho miso works best but it can be made with any kind of miso. The shoyu is optional but seems to add an additional savoury note. The dressing is rather thick so you can thin with water if preferred.

Makes 1 jar

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp hatcho miso
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp soy sauce (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 3cm knob of ginger, finely grated

Method

  • Whisk all ingredients in a jar, thinning with water if necessary.