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First, peel and finely chop the celeriac, but keep the peel. Pour the chicken stock into a large saucepan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Add the celeriac peel, then remove the pan from the heat, cover the top with clingfilm and leave to infuse for 20-30 minutes.
Heat the rapeseed oil in a large frying pan over a low heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, cover the pan and leave the onion to sweat for 10-12 minutes until softened, but not coloured.
Meanwhile, peel and dice the apples and mix them with the lemon juice so they don’t oxidise and turn brown.
Use less stock here and you'll make a lovely purée to accompany meats, such as pork, venison or pheasant.
When the onion has softened, add the apples and any juice, and the celeriac. Strain the infused chicken stock into the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes until the celeriac is tender. Add the double cream and return the liquid to the boil. Pour the soup into a blender and blend until smooth.
When ready to serve, reheat the soup, if necessary. Crumble the blue cheese into soup bowls, then pour the hot soup on top and finish with a drizzle of walnut oil, toasted walnuts and celery leaves.
Celeriac and apple are great bedfellows and work so well together as a soup. This really is one of the dishes where you will recognise all of the flavours – celeriac, blue cheese, apple and walnuts. In the kitchen here at the pub we gain maximum flavour by infusing the celeriac skin in the stock