For a show-stopping dinner party try this peppery celeriac soup, topped with luxurious scallops.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 celeriac, about 1kg, peeled and cut into cubes
- 5 shallots, peeled and sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 150 ml white wine
- 1½ litres chicken stock
- good pinch nutmeg
- 125 ml double cream
- 100 g black pudding, crumbled into small pieces
- 12 scallops, coral removed, each halved into 2 discs
- 50 g butter
- Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and add the celeriac, shallots and garlic. Gently fry for a few minutes, until they soften without colouring. Add the white wine, bring everything to the boil and reduce the liquid by half. Add the chicken stock and nutmeg, bring to the boil again, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until celeriac is tender. Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the soup to a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the soup back into the pan, add the cream and generously season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Reheat gently while you finish everything else.
- In a large frying pan, fry the black pudding until crisp. Set aside on kitchen paper to soak up any fat. Wipe out the pan.
- Season the scallops. Heat the frying pan again until hot and add the butter. When it is foaming, add the scallops and sear for 1 minute on each side, or until just cooked through, then place on a warm plate.
- To serve, pour the soup into 8 bowls, top each with 3 scallops and sprinkle with black pudding.
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