Who Knew?: Celery Root Soup

Do you have a lot of experience with celery root  (a.k.a. celeriac)? I don’t. I’ve only seen it on a few restaurant menus, and I want to say that was mostly in England? When I went to look for it at the grocery store, I don’t think I’d ever noticed the giant brown bulbs in the parsnips-and-stuff section before. Celeriac is a bit of a wallflower.

So, on the promise of some hard-to-imagine celery root soup, my friend Swaan came over for dinner last night. Neither of us was that hungry for dinner food, so we skipped the soup course. And then, naturally, we made five (FIVE!) batches of kettle corn, including a buttery chocolatey batch. We ate so much corn syrup and brown sugar and chocolate that we were both as sugar-high as two humans can get by the end of the night.

And after all that? I desperately wanted a bowl of this soup to even me out. And it tasted amazing.

This is the first time I’ve cooked with celery root, the bulbous and alien-looking base of the celery plant, and I have to say: it makes for some damn good soup. This easy and extremely healthy light-green winter puree packs a depth of peppery flavor that belies the simplicity of the ingredients. Make it vegetarian by substituting some high-quality vegetable broth for chicken broth.

After glutting myself with kettle corn for dinner, this healing soup made for the most amazing dessert. I practically licked the pot clean.

Seriously, celery root. Who knew?



Celery Root Soup

Serves 6

  • 2 large leeks, trimmed, washed, and chopped
  • 4 celery ribs, washed and chopped
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 large celery root (about 2 cups) chopped in 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 whole shallot, peeled
  • 3 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock (lightly salted)
  • salt if necessary
  • freshly ground black pepper
Sautee celery, leeks, garlic, and shallots in butter in a large pot. While they are cooking, peel and chop celery root into 1/2″ cubes. When celery and leeks are bright green and starting to cook down, add celery root, chicken stock, and thyme. Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat until the vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes. Puree with a blender stick or in batches in a regular blender until very smooth. Season with salt if necessary and lots and lots of fresh-ground black pepper. Serve hot or cold.
Feel free to garnish with horseradish creme fraiche or a splash of heavy cream.

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Filed under Gluten-free, In Season, Side, Soup/Stew, Vegetarian, Winter

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