In January, your fresh produce options may look a little sparse. Root vegetables take center stage, and so we often look to use them in warm, earthy, and comforting recipes. That is exactly what we have in this celery root soup, which also just so happens to be vegetarian-friendly.
See that vegetable that looks like a monster brain at the top of this post? It’s sort of hard to miss. That is celery root, also called celeriac. If you can taste a bit of celery when you bite into this starch, that’s because it’s called celery root for an endlessly appropriate reason. While it may appear daunting, it’s actually a very mild, appealing flavor that it great when paired with a distinctive herb like rosemary or thyme. This recipe was adapted from Serious Eats.
serves 4, active time 25 minutes, total time 1 hour
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 6 small shallots, finely sliced
- 1/4 pound boiling potatoes
- 1 and 3/4 pounds celery root, peeled and cubed
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or rosemary
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- About 3 tablespoons of grated gruyère per serving
- Crusty bread for serving (optional)
- Peel and cube the potatoes. After slicing the celery root in about five circular sections, use a paring knife to remove the outer layer. Then cut the celery root into chunks roughly the same size as the potatoes.
- In a large stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat then add the shallots. Cook until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Watch that the shallot doesn’t burn, splashing the pan with a little water if they cook too quickly.
- Add the potatoes, celery root, salt, pepper, vegetable broth, and thyme or rosemary, and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low, simmering for 30 minutes. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup until smooth.
- Serve immediately topped with grated Gruyère, stirred in as it melts, and a side of crusty bread.
You will find the starch and strong herb flavor is exalted with a little pile of gruyere on top. This recipe is an extremely healthy alternative to potato soup, and the ingredients will cost only around $2.75 per serving. Of course, it should go without saying, if you hate the flavor of celery this might not be the dish for you. But if you’re looking for a soup that’s earthy and warm but just a tiny bit different, you’ll be pleased with what celeriac can do for you.