CELERY AND APRICOT SOUP
Serves : 6
- 4 3/8 oz butter
- 4 3/8 oz flour
- 3 large chopped shallots
- 1 3/4 oz mushroom stalks (pied blew, shitake, oyster or cepe)
- 1 head celery, core removed and chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 leek, chopped
- 7 1/8 oz fresh apricots, blanched, peeled and chopped
- 7/8 oz fresh ginger, grated
- 4 grates nutmeg
- 2 1/8 tablespoons wasabi powder (start with 1 tablespoon)
- 1 1/4 quarts light chicken stock or veggie stock
- 1 2/3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 1/8 cups creme fraiche
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 1/8 tablespoons sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- *Sweat off the shallots, mushroom stalks, celery, carrot, leek, ginger and apricots for 5 minutes.
- Add flour and cook until you get a blonde roux. Moisten with stock and cook for 20 mintues.
- Finish by adding all the remaining ingredients. Cook again for 20 more minutes. Put the soup in a blender and then pass through a sieve or chinois and finally through a wet muslin.
Serve with garnished Stilton croutons.
* ‘To Sweat’ is a technique by which ingredients, particularly vegetables, are cooked in a small amount of fat over a low heat. The ingreidents are covered directly with a piece of foil or parchment paper, then the pot is tightly covered. With this method, the ingredients soften without browning, and cook in their own juices.
NOTES : See Parmesan Croutons and substitute stilton cheese for the parmesan. Also, I blended and sieved the soup, but did not pass it through wet muslin. This recipe leaves something for the imagination, but notworry, it should taste great no matter what.
Recipe by : The Lifeboat Inn
April, 1999, we had a brief stay in Norfolk, England. We stayed at a hotel owned by our friends, Tom and Lucy Granke, Le Strange Arms, in Old Hunstanton. They were to meet us there, but at the last minute, couldn’t. We went anyway because we had heard so much about the hotel, and surrounding area that we didn’t want to miss it. This part of our trup was so wonderful that we wanted to stay longer, but our schedule was too tight. Tom was nice enough to give us some direction about what to see and do and he insisted that lunch at the Lifeboat Inn was a must. It’s a little restaurant with accommodation on the North Sea and is several centuries old. The original character has been retained, which makes it very charming and inviting.
The soup of the day was celery and Apricot Soup. Jack loves celery soup, but he balked at the apricot in the tittle. I, being adventurous foodie, ordered it. The soup was delicious so we requested the recipe there and then. The chef who made it was gone for the day,. We were disappointed to leave empty handed. When Tome heard about our failure to get the recipe, he made it his mission to get it for us. He was successful, thank you Tom, and everyone else involved.
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