- Preheat the grill to the hottest setting, then grill the red pepper for about 10 minutes, turning it often, until the skin is charred all over. Put it in a polythene bag and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel the pepper, discard the seeds and cut the flesh into 1 cm (1/2 in) squares.
- For the dumplings, cook the diced celeriac in boiling water for 10–15 minutes or until very tender. Drain well, then purée in a blender or food processor, or mash until smooth. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the leek and garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the red pepper, stock and tomato purée. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 8 minutes. Add the peas halfway through the cooking. Remove from the heat. Stir in the tomatoes and seasoning to taste, then set aside.
- Add the breadcrumbs, goat's cheese, basil and egg to the celeriac, with seasoning to taste. Mix well until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Use 2 small spoons (teaspoons are suitable) to shape the mixture into 12 small dumplings, setting them on a plate as they are made.
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Gently lower half the dumplings, one by one, into the water on a draining spoon. Bring the water back to the boil, then cover, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 4–5 minutes. Use the draining spoon to remove the dumplings from the pan to a double layer of kitchen paper to drain. Repeat with the remaining dumplings.
- Return the tomato broth to the heat and bring to the boil. Ladle the soup into bowls, add the dumplings and garnish with basil. Serve immediately.
Some more ideas
*For spinach dumplings, wash 200 g (7 oz) fresh spinach and place in a large saucepan. Cover and cook for 2 minutes or until wilted and tender – the water clinging to the leaves will provide sufficient moisture. Drain well, then press out all the liquid. Finely chop the spinach and use instead of the celeriac to make the dumplings. Add a good pinch of grated nutmeg to the mixture with the seasoning. *Both the celeriac and spinach dumplings are delicious with a tomato sauce instead of soup. Cook 1 onion, finely chopped; 1 carrot, finely diced or chopped; 1 garlic clove, crushed; and 1 bay leaf in 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a small saucepan for about 10 minutes or until softened. Add 2 tbsp tomato purée; 1 can chopped tomatoes, about 400 g; 200 ml (7 fl oz) vegetable stock, preferably home-made; ½ tsp sugar; and seasoning to taste. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cover the pan. Simmer for 15 minutes. Make and cook double the quantity of dumplings. Ladle the tomato sauce into 4 bowls, top with the dumplings and sprinkle with shredded fresh basil. A crisp salad is a good accompaniment.
*Celeriac is related to celery and, like celery, it provides potassium. When eaten raw celeriac also offers vitamin C and soluble fibre, the type that helps to lower blood cholesterol levels. *Goat's cheese is a tasty source of calcium. This complements the vitamins (C, A and B group), iron and protein from the vegetables in the soup to make a hearty one-dish meal.
Each serving provides
A, B12, C, E, folate, B1, B6, niacin, calcium, copper, iron, potassium, zinc