Celeriac is an often underutilized, “ugly” vegetable. The flavor however is very welcoming, with hints of celery, parsnip, and even the fruitiness of apple. There are lots of uses for it, and around late Autumn it starts turning up everywhere. I have used it to make crispy chips, gratins, a component of fall vegetable medleys, and even a sauce for fish.
Presented here are 2 very different ways to use it for a soup; the classic recipe highlights and plays to celeriac’s classic flavor profile. The second recipe takes it far out of the box, and transforms the flavor, but still keeps the celeriac flavor at the core. Both are rich, creamy and satisfying.
Classic Celery Root Soup
1 Quart Veg Stock
24 oz. of Heavy Cream
5 lb. Cleaned Rough Chopped Celery Root
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
1/2 lb Chopped Pealed Parsnips
1 Leek “Whites” Roughly Chopped and Rinsed
1/2 lb Celery Roughly Chopped and Rinsed
1 Tablespoon Chopped Garlic
2 oz. Chopped Shallots
1/4 lb. Unsalted Butter
Wrap in a Cheesecloth and Tie the Following:
4 Sprigs of Thyme
2 tsp Black Pepper
2 Bay Leaves
Salt to Taste
1. In soup pot, preheat with butter and add the onion, leek, shallot and garlic; and sweat till translucent.
2. Add in the remaining ingredients except the liquids to sweat together with onions.
3. Once everything is mixed together fold in liquids for 25 minutes and simmer till celery root is cooked through.
4. When the celery root has cooked through remove cheese cloth bag from soup and discard.
5. Blend the soup in Blender for smooth consistency and season to taste.
6. Use immediately, or chill on ice to enjoy later.
Autumn Celeriac-Apple Soup with Lemongrass Essence
2 lb. Peeled Celeriac, Roughly Chopped
1 lb. Peeled and De-cored Apples, Roughly Chopped
1 Cup Chopped Leek Whites
2 Lemongrass Stems Chopped Up
1 Large Fennel Bulb, Roughly Chopped
1 Idaho Potato, Peeled Roughly Chopped
2 oz Olive Oil
1 ½ quarts of Vegetable Stock
2 Cups of Coconut Milk
3 tablespoons of Honey
1 teaspoon White Pepper Ground
2 Green Cardamom Pods and 2 Bay Leaves (wrapped in cheesecloth, tied with twine)
1 tablespoon of Salt to Taste
1. Heat up a soup pot to medium heat, and add olive oil.
2. Sweat the celeriac, apples, leeks, lemongrass and fennel; season with a little salt and white pepper.
3. Stir often, for about 8 minutes. If the heat is too high, turn lower, so the vegetables do not brown.
4. Add potato, veg stock, coconut milk, honey, white pepper, and sachet. Season with a little salt, about a teaspoon.
5. Let simmer for 25 minutes, then remove the sachet with the cardamom and bay leaves. Puree in a blender, and adjust salt and pepper to your preference.
6. Strain well, through a chinoise if you have one.
7. Serve immediately, or chill down over ice for future use.