A Soup for this Season

By Sophia Young – Kitchen Manager at Embercombe

Celeriac, Shallot & Nigella Seed Soup 

As Winter urges us to rest, as the cold asks us to come inward, as night brings us homeward, this is a time, as deep we know, to pause, lean into stillness, digest the fruits of the last year and stoke beloved fires.

The advent of Christmas however, as long we know, typically pulls against all of Nature’s callings as we entwine ourselves with festive busy-ness and summon energy to deliver feasts, fabulous gifts and gatherings that glitter and twinkle and most usually obstruct our view of the glorious Dark.

So, if hunkering, hibernating and doing nowt be your preference this year, we have a soup that requires very little of you, other than cosying-up on the sofa with a favourite book and tea and simply drinking in the quietness whilst root veggies carelessly roast and toast and marry flavours that emerge with abundance and generosity and most notably, from the easeful act of non-doing.

The ingredients/inspiration:

• Two large celeriac
• A dozen or so large shallots
• Two bulbs of garlic
• The zest of one orange
• Nigella Seeds
• A splash of apple cider vinegar
• A dessert spoon of Bouillion
• Salt, pepper, oil of your choice

The poetry:

Peel and chop the celeriac into roughly 1” chunks
Slice the shallots
Prep naked garlic cloves
Place all in large baking tray
Sprinkle with seeds
Oil, salt, pepper
And slowly
On a flickering heat
For as long as it takes to drink several pints of tea
Knit your daughters scarf
File accounts, or maybe not
And snooze whilst your family
Watches Elf
Remove golden veg
After such dream-time
Sprinkle with zest, a splosh of vinegar
Cover with stock – not too much,
Don’t let your veggies drown….
Back in the oven
With a lid on
Overnight, if an Aga is your source
And once beauty has alchemised
Into deliciousness
Offer gratitude and blessings
To the whispers of Winter
Savour this time, this meal
Make a vast pot and share with those who are without the nourishment of a home
Serve with toasted pumpkin seed
And very maybe too, crusty white bread