Celery root. The flavor is like stalks of celery, but better. And it has a creamy potato-like texture that’s perfect for soup. It’s one of those little-known, under-appreciated vegetables that rewards closer acquaintance.
A recipe for soup like this is more suggestion than playbook. Use leeks to add another delicate flavor, or go quicker and cheaper with onions. The celery root can be roasted or cooked in the pot with the stock or water. Make it more filling by throwing in a few potatoes, or leave them out for a lower glycemic meal. Choices!
- 1 large celery root, about 2.5 lbs.
- 2 leeks or one large onion
- 4 Tbs. olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp. salt or to taste
- 1 head of garlic
- 6 cups vegetable stock or water. If you use water, increase salt slightly and add a handful of parsley, 1 tsp. dried thyme, and three bay leaves (remove bay leaves at end, before blending!)
- salt to taste
- ½ tsp. white or black pepper, more to taste (note: black pepper will make black specks in the white soup, but I prefer the taste to that of white pepper).
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary or sage (or substitute other fresh green herbs to your taste), additional herbs to garnish soup if desired.
- 1 cup plain unsweetened soy or other milk
- Heat oven to 375.
- Peel celery root with a paring knife. This will take a while to get into all the little crevices. Chop into small cubes. This process took me about 25 mins.
- Cut top ½ inch off off garlic head so that each clove is cut off at the tip.
- Mix celery root with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil, place in glass baking dish with the head of garlic. Bake until mostly soft and brown, 30-40 minutes.
- Meanwhile prepare and fry leeks or onions.
- If using leeks: Cut green tops off of leeks, trim root end, cut in half, separate layers and rinse in sink to remove any dirt. See my post on how to prepare leeks if you haven’t done it before.
- Chop leeks.
- If using onions: Peel and chop onion.
- Add 2 Tbs. olive oil to stockpot and fry onions or leeks on medium-low flame for ten minutes, so they soften but do not brown.
- Add stock and/or water, cooked celery root, and 4 or 5 cloves of the roasted garlic, saving the rest for another purpose.
- Add herbs, salt and pepper.
- Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add soy or other milk as desired at the end (this will cool the soup off slightly before you put it in the blender.
- Blend soup, using caution with the hot liquid.
- Adjust salt, pepper, herbs.
- Serve, garnishing with fresh sage or rosemary as desired.
If you are using leeks for the first time, see my post on how to clean leeks. Other soups you might like: butternut squash and pear soup, sweet potato vegetable soup with ginger, cilantro, coconut, and lime.