Monday was becoming our day for rootling through the jetsam of New Covent Garden wholesale market, but Sebastien was otherwise engaged this morning and I didn't want to go it alone, so I mooched off to Lidl instead. Not only is Lidl the land of chocolate-with-hazelnuts and paprika crisps, but it's also the only place I know of locally where one can be reasonably sure of bagging a 'brain' of celeriac. Yer, celeriac brains. As in the roots of the celery plant. Plus, there's this sign in the car park:
At Lidl this morning, never mind the schogetten, I scored a couple of celeriac brains (@ £1.19), a cute lil' bag o' parsnips (79p) and another of leeks (£1.29), plus onions (69p) and garlic (65p). That's five-eighty: not quite a sick squid. On the way back to the Pullens Centre, I swung by Oli's for bread, plus a 200g slab o' creamed coconut (39p: they've got a new brand in) and a bunch of coriander, along with a couple of loaves of bread.
I made the soup the standard way, substituting leeks for most of the onion/celery in the mirepoix, with three diced carrots and about half a dozen crushed cloves of garlic. I peeled and roughly diced the root vegetables, adding them to the sweating mirepoix in the soup pot. Added turmeric and curry powder, about a dessert spoon of each, and mixed with the big wooden spoon. Mixed it pretty good. Mixed it down sweet and added some moisture: slowly, I filled that soup pot up with four litres of Marigold bouillon and simmered it for nigh on a half hour before I brought on Brenda the blender.
Mark was waiting to try the finished soup and he had a cup of tea to warm himself up because, silly billy, he'd locked his dumb self out of his gaff and so he slept in the park last night! I finished the soup with half a block - 100g - of creamed coconut dissolved in a litre of boiling water and garnished it with a generous sprinkling of coarsely-chopped fresh coriander. Just your common or garden hearty neighbourhood soup: I served seventeen peeps, several of whom had seconds, and had a litre left over that I took round to Jen's.