Celeriac soup with roasted hazelnuts

A lovely way to start Christmas dinner. Celeriac soup with soda scones

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan on a low–medium heat, add the chopped onion, potato and celeriac, and season with salt and pepper. Place a butter wrapper or piece of greaseproof paper on top, cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low and cook for 7–8 minutes, stirring regularly.

2. Pour in the stock, bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for a further 10 minutes or until the vegetables are completely soft. add the cream and the chopped herbs and liquidise the soup in a blender or using a hand-held blender until it is smooth and velvety. Taste for seasoning.

3. To serve, ladle into warm bowls and sprinkle with the roasted hazelnuts and parsley.

Rachel ’s tip

How to roast and peel hazelnuts
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°f), Gas mark 6. Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and cook for about 10 minutes or until their skins have darkened, then remove from the oven. To remove the skins, wrap the nuts in a clean tea towel while they are still warm
(I find this tends to slightly stain the tea towel, so don’t use your
favourite!) and rub together. The skins should come off easily.

CHEESY SODA SCONES WITH HERBS

Preheat the oven to 230C/450F/gas mark 8.

Sieve the dry ingredients into a bowl, then mix in the freshly chopped herbs. Make a well in the centre. Pour most of the milk in at once. Using one hand, mix in the flour from the sides of the bowl, adding more milk if necessary. The dough should be softish, not too wet and sticky.

When it all comes together, turn it out onto a floured board, knead lightly for a few seconds, just enough to tidy it up. Pat the dough until it is about 1 inch (2.5cm) thick. Cut into round or square shapes about the size of a scone, then place on a floured baking tray. Cook for 20 minutes approx. in the preheated oven until golden in colour.