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The Root Vegetable Chronicles: Celery Root Soup with Apple and Blue Cheese

February 6, 2009

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The root vegetable love continues today with a recipe using celery root, or celeriac. Celery root is one of my favorite root vegetables; I like the gentle celery flavor, creamy white interior, and endearingly warty surface. Sure, it’s a bit harder to clean (the dirt gets kind of stuck between the swirls of the knobby root) but it’s not that big a deal. NPR has a great article on celery root here, calling it “the unsung frog prince of winter vegetables.” I love that!

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The flavors in this soup go really nicely together – the earthy celery root, crisp tart apple, and creamy blue cheese. In Deborah Madison’s recipe, she garnishes it with lovage, as well, which I think would have really been a nice touch. I’ve never tried lovage, but a quick googling turned up this site, where lovage is described as having a “pure and strong flavor of celery…but with definite undertones of fenugreek and curry leaf.” [On a side note, I am definitely planting this in my garden next year!] I, however, did not have any lovage on hand so – thinly sliced scallion greens would have to do for a bit of green color, but they certainly couldn’t compare with the lovage for a bright, pungently celery flavor. Definitely don’t skimp on the apple in the garnish; it gives a nice bright acidity to the soup.

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But, lovage or not, it’s still a tasty soup, and was a good way to use some of the celeriac I’ve been accumulating from the share for the past few weeks. One of the things I really like about many of Deborah Madison’s soup recipes is that she often has you make a simple stock using some of the trimming from the vegetables on which the soup is based – it’s a nice detail that boosts the flavor even more.

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And so concludes the week of root vegetable recipes – I’ll be moving on to other things next week…Happy Friday!

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Celery Root Soup with Apple and Blue Cheese

From Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen

view printable recipe

Ingredients
For the stock:
scrubbed peels from the celery root
1 cup chopped leek greens or onion
3 long celery ribs, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
Bouquet garni of 1 bay leaf, 3 parsley sprigs, pinch of dried thyme
sea salt

For the soup:
2 Tablespoons butter
1 onion or 2 fat leeks, thinly sliced
3 cups diced celery root (1 to 1 1/2 pounds scrubbed celery root)
1 cup diced celery ribs
1 large tart apple, i.e. Granny Smith, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup diced potato
1 cup half and half or milk

For the garnish:
3/4 cup very thinly sliced celery heart
1/4 apple, thinly sliced and cut into matchsticks
5 small lovage leaves, slivered, or other green herb like parsley or chives
blue cheese, crumbled

Directions
Slice away the celery root skins thickly, with a knife, cutting in more towards the center of at the base where the root is more gnarled (the dirt gets swirled into the flesh a bit here.) Put the trimmings in a pot along with the rest of the stock ingredients and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add 6 cups water, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, get the soup started. Melt the butter in a wide soup pot, then add the onion, celery root, apple, potato, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, cover the pot, and continue cooking for another 10 minutes.

The stock should be just about finished cooking now. Strain it directly into the vegetables, bring to a boil and then lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes. Puree the soup until smooth, then stir in the half-and-half or milk and taste for salt.

Divide the soup among bowls and top with the garnish ingredients.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2009 10:43 am

    Amy, It’s been a fun week! This soup looks incredible — I like the quick stock and the blue cheese garnish. Delicious. Have a great weekend.

  2. February 7, 2009 8:49 am

    I am a big-time celery root fan, and this soup looks right up my alley! I like to use celery root in coleslaw like salads or sandwich toppings, it’s a nice twist and a refreshing side during the winter.

  3. February 7, 2009 9:08 am

    I also love celery root, especially mashed or in soups. I like the addition of blue cheese, I’ll have to try that.

  4. February 7, 2009 10:48 pm

    This is also on my list of veggies to try…. after my adventure with fennel last weekend (loved your flatbread recipe), I need to get to the store :)

  5. February 8, 2009 3:18 pm

    I loved the root vegetable chronicles! Thanks for sharing so many great root recipes. This one sounds especially delicious. Love the apple and blue cheese combo with celery root. Yum!

  6. February 9, 2009 10:42 am

    Sounds heavenly – a perfect soup for these cold winter months. Can’t wait to try it out!

  7. February 10, 2009 10:07 am

    I have everything to make this and some good english blue cheese! Thank you for posting this – I’m running out of ways to dress up my root veggies!

  8. Lise12 permalink
    February 11, 2009 3:34 am

    Awesome blog! I *love love love* your CSA share pictures; I’m considering signing up for one and hope it has as many neat vegetable as yours. I’m definitely trying this celery root soup. Great job!

  9. Katie permalink
    October 24, 2009 8:27 pm

    I’ll definitely try this! My favorite celery root soup is from the Local Flavors cookbook: http://rebecitarecipes.blogspot.com/2009/05/celery-root-chowder.html

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