Celery Root Soup

Celery Root Soup | coffeeandquinoa.com

Do you ever feel like the universe is trying to tell you something… and it’s about food?

Without warning, everywhere you look, you start seeing a certain ingredient. It’s on Facebook. It appears at the grocery store. It shows up on your favorite blogs. Co-workers start mentioning what they’ve made with it. Finally, although you had never even heard of it before a few weeks ago, you decide that you just can’t ignore its presence any longer and have to make a weekend project out of cooking with it.

Does that ever happen to you? No?

Well, it’s exactly what happened with me and this weird-ass root.

Celery Root Soup | coffeeandquinoa.com

Just look at this thing. I mean, there’s a reason it’s never made it onto my cutting board before this. Never mind the fact that I didn’t even know it existed.

But based on all the signs the universe has been sending me, the celery root and I are destined to be together.

So finally I went out and bought one. This was quite easy because, as I mentioned, my grocery store is displaying them prominently. But then the question remained: what do you do with this thing?

Celery Root Soup | coffeeandquinoa.com

Turns out, you put it in a soup.

Well actually, first you hack it to pieces.

Celery Root Soup | coffeeandquinoa.com

But then you put it in a soup. And drizzle it with truffle oil. And dip crusty hunks of bread in it. (Why did I not get some bread for these pictures? Food blogging lesson learned.) And then you get that comfy cozy feeling that comes from being warmed from the inside out.

Celery Root Soup | coffeeandquinoa.com

So maybe the celery root and I are destined to be together.

And maybe you two are destined for each other, too. Don’t worry, there’s enough to go around.

Celery Root Soup | coffeeandquinoa.com

If you haven’t met this soulmate of a root vegetable yet, let me tell you what to expect. Not surprisingly, it tastes like celery! Well, like that but more flavorful, and maybe a little more peppery. It has a texture close to a potato, but not as starchy. It has the same creaminess, but with an added delicious flavor. Overall, it has everything I could want in a wintertime soup. I liked this much more than any potato leek soup I’ve ever tried, and I can definitely imagine making a vegetable soup or stew with chunks of celery root in it.

So… you and the celery root. Together forever.

Consider this your sign from the universe.

Celery Root Soup | coffeeandquinoa.com

Celery Root Soup

Adapted from David Lebovitz

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp butter or margarine
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 leeks, cleaned and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
kosher salt to taste
4 lbs celery root (I used 1 large plus 1 small)
5 cups vegetable stock made without tomatoes, such as Whole Foods 365 (or chicken stock)
2 cups water (reduce to 1 cup for a thicker soup)
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
scant 1/8 tsp chile powder
truffle oil or olive oil for serving (optional)

Instructions:

First of all, peel and chop the celery root. Here is a tutorial from The Kitchn on how to peel a celery root. It’s really not as hard as you think it will be. Once you’ve got that done, you can move on to the next step! My 4 lbs of celery root turned into about 7 cups when chopped.

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add leeks and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not let the leeks brown at all; turn down the heat if they start to. Add the garlic cloves and a pinch of salt and continuing sauteing until both the leeks and garlic are soft and translucent, another few minutes.

Add the celery root, vegetable stock, and water. Cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce to what David Lebovitz calls a “strong simmer.” Simmer until the celery root is tender. (A fork should slide easily to the center of a cube when pierced.) This will depend on the size of your cubes, but took me about 25 minutes.

Once celery root is tender, add the pepper and chili powder. Puree using an immersion blender (or in batches in a regular blender) until the soup is smooth with no remaining chunks. Add more salt as desired.

Serve hot with a drizzle of truffle or olive oil and a side of rustic bread.

Enjoy!

Time:

45 minutes to an hour

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{ 16 comments }

  • Natalie February 1, 2013, 5:55 am

    I bought celery root soup with truffle oil at a fancy bistro a few weeks back and ever since I’ve been searching for the perfect recipe. I think I found it !!

    Reply
  • Aparna B. February 1, 2013, 6:23 am

    I’ve never used celery root. It’s such an ugly looking thing, but I’ve heard it’s absolutely delicious! Will definitely need to try this soon!

    Reply
  • Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies February 1, 2013, 6:25 am

    I love celery, so this sounds great! I see this stuff on Topped Chef and Chopped what seems like all the time, but I never really knew what to do with it either.

    Reply
  • Penny February 1, 2013, 7:21 am

    Yes. This does happen to me, and, in fact has been happening lately with celery root. I’ve picked it up and looked at it, put it down, and wondered. Now, I know exactly what to make of and with it and will try this recipe soon. It sounds delicious with just a bit of kick to it. I always enjoy your posts and inspiration. Just had to let you know today. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Erica February 1, 2013, 7:42 am

      Thanks Penny! Glad I’m not the only crazy one thinking about celery root.

      Reply
  • Mom February 1, 2013, 9:11 am

    I admit I was skeptical, but when you said it is better than potato-leek soup and more peppery, I was sold! This will be on my menu for next week!

    Reply
  • angela @ another bite please February 1, 2013, 11:34 am

    when i think of celery root i think of top chef..they usually make somekind of soup with it…and the addition of truffle oil…i would love to try this…and celery root is such an odd looking vegetable

    Reply
    • Erica February 1, 2013, 1:46 pm

      I guess I haven’t watched enough Top Chef! And yes, you can’t go wrong when you add truffle oil :)

      Reply
  • Katie @ Blonde Ambition February 1, 2013, 4:26 pm

    These photos are absolutely beautiful! Love the drizzle of truffle oil. I totally know what you mean about seeing a food item everywhere too :)

    Reply
  • Robin February 1, 2013, 10:07 pm

    This looks interesting….may have to give it a try… and this may be an odd question — but what exactly is truffle oil?? I’ve heard it mentioned alot lately in recipes..

    Reply
  • Angie@Angie's Recipes February 1, 2013, 10:27 pm

    I love to use celery root making soups too. Your photos are mouthwatering, just like the soup.

    Reply
  • Laura February 3, 2013, 12:31 pm

    Ironically, the same thing happened to me: went on a work trip last weekend and my coworkers were talking about it, then saw it displayed in the grocery store, now I happened upon it on your blog. I think I need to add it to this week’s grocery list!

    Reply
    • Erica February 3, 2013, 3:02 pm

      I love hearing that this happens to other people :) Sounds like this is the week for it!

      Reply
  • Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies February 4, 2013, 2:43 pm

    I have been waiting ever-so-patiently for my celery root to be ready to harvest. I just pinned this recipe for that glorious day!

    Reply
    • Erica February 4, 2013, 2:58 pm

      I am seriously impressed that you are growing celery root! That will be a glorious day!

      Reply
  • Atticus Madison March 5, 2013, 7:28 pm

    I love celery root [also called celeriac] since I lived in France a long time ago. It is used alot there and one staple of deli shops there is raw celeriac julienned and marinated/served in a remoulade sauce. Nice and crunchy and delicious! Vinaigrette or or you favorite dressing also are great.

    Also, I like to combine celeriac like you prepare it but combine it with cooked and pureed sunchoke [Jerusalem artichokes] and/or potatoes [the grainy kind like Russets] in the soup. Seasonings I used are salt, pepper, thyme or rosemary and anything else that strikes the fancy at the time.

    You can also julienne or chop it and saute it with carrots or potatoes etc. in a fry pan as a side dish. Let your imagination run wild!

    Freezes very well. I freeze it in single service size plastic and just pull one out the night before and thaw in the fridge so it’s ready to take to work the next morning. Yum!!

    Reply

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