How many times have you passed the vegetable aisle in your supermarket and walked right by the celeriac, without giving it a second thought? This gnarly, under appreciated root vegetable, also known as celery root, deserves some love.
For those of you on a low carb diet, it makes a fantastic substitute for mashed potatoes. Find a recipe for that here. But it also makes a really delicious, velvety soup, that’s perfect for this time of year, when winter’s chill is still upon us. Use chicken stock, as I did, or vegetable stock if you’re a vegetarian. And skip the cream if you’re counting your calories (although it’s a scant 1/4 cup for about four to six servings) But please don’t skip the crispy shallots on top. They really dress it up and make it company worthy.
Everything gets cooked in a pot, then the bay leaf and thyme get removed and the soup is blended until smooth.
You can make this soup and be sitting down to eat it in a half hour start to finish – less time than it would take to get take out from the store.
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- 1 large celery root (celeriac), about 1 pound, trimmed and cut into chunks
- 2 T. butter
- ½ cup chopped sweet onion
- 1 apple (I used honey crisp),cored, peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth (or water or vegetable broth)
- ½ cup white wine (you can use dry or sweet, I used Riesling)
- 1 bay leaf
- a few sprigs of thyme
- salt, white pepper
- ¼ cup heavy cream, optional
- FOR THE CRISPY SHALLOT:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large shallot, sliced
- Melt the butter in a saucepan, and add the onions.
- Cook the onions until they are translucent, then add the rest of the ingredients, except the cream.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and cook until everything is fork tender.
- It should take about a half hour.
- Remove the thyme and bay leaf from the pot.
- Using a blender or stick blender, puree everything until very smooth.
- Adjust seasonings if necessary, and add cream.
- If soup is too thick, add some water or broth.
- If it's not thick enough, continue to cook until the soup is reduced a little.
- TO MAKE THE CRISPY SHALLOTS:
- Place the olive oil in a saucepan and add the shallots to the cold olive oil.
- Turn up the heat and let the shallots fry until crispy.
- DO NOT leave the stove because they can easily burn.
- The leftover olive oil, once cool, is fabulous to use in salad dressings.
- Pour the soup into bowls, drizzle with some of the olive oil and top with the crispy shallots.