On our last trip to India we enjoyed a cooking class at the Red Earth Eco lodge in Karnataka about 60km south of Mysore and
Earthy sweet and delicious this hearty soup is perfect for winter . There are many possible variations of this soup so you will never get bored. This version inspired by chef Harris Ryan is a classic style cream of celeriac but the garnish is what makes it exceptional. The combination of Vadouvan spices* , hazelnuts , fresh pear and chives is divine.
*Vadouvan is a French-i-fied curry powder that’s enjoyed a burst of publicity the last couple of years from chefs, eaters, and Top Chef audiences. Its French influences set its base firmly in the addition of the allium’s family, mainly shallots, onions, and sometimes garlic, the effect of which is to create a sweet slightly smokey undertone. Bittersweet fenugreek is almost as essential, and curry leaves make frequent appearances, it is a curry powder you really can add to most anything. Its simpler flavors come through sharper, especially when played off starchy vegetables, grains, dairy, and meat. Vadouvan is bold enough to stand up to flavors like lamb (or goat!) and tangy yogurts, but delicate enough to play nice with demure chicken and winter squash.
Note: this spice is also spelt vadavam and vadavan
Spices used in this recipe
Dice, onion and garlic and saute in a saucepan with olive oil till transluscent.
Sprinkle cumin and celery seasoned salt, saute 2 min to allow the spice aromas to be released.
Add celeriac, water or stock . make sure enough to cover the celeriac. Bring to the boil and simmer 15min till celeriac is very soft. Process the soup in a food processor and gradually add the milk or creme fraiche and butter till blended in.
Season to taste with celery salt and white ground pepper. If the sauce is too thick add a little extra water.
Garnish : as per the photo we have used all the garnishes in the ingredient list , but any combination will work:
Vadouvan curry mix is known as the “french curry ” . it is more often used by chefs to garnish or as a spice rub rather than a full indian curry blend. The french have taken the traditional indian curry spices and added allium flavour base ( shallots, onion and garlic )