Celeriac is revered in Europe, especially France, where it shows up in the classic Remoulade, a shredded version in a mustard mayonnaise dressing. It makes a beautiful addition to any colesaw and try adding a bit to classic mashed potatoes for a lovely flavour boost. Added to a tray of mixed roasted root vegetables or or layed in a gratin, it adds a unique complement to sweet creamy starches. But one of my favourite ways to enjoy this highly flavoured vegetable is in a creamy soup. Combined with potatoes which temper its strong flavour, it makes a beautiful puree that shines when topped with a glistening fruity olive oil or herb oil. This soup cooks up in no time at all and will freeze well.
Creamy of Celery Root Soup
1 Tbsp butter
1Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, halved and sliced thin
1 clove garlic, sliced thin
1 bay leaf
1 large celery root, about 1 pound, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 peeled red or white potatoes, 1/2 inch cubes
3 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
2 tsp lemon lemon juice
1 2 inch long piece of lemon zest (peeled off lemon with potato peeler)
salt and white pepper
3 Tbsp cream
fruity olive oil or herb oil for garnish
Place butter and olive oil in pot over med heat. When butter is melted add onions, garlic, bay leaf and a pinch of salt and cook gently to soften onions. Reduce heat if there is any sign of browning.
Add potatoes and celery root, cover with stock and water, thyme sprigs, lemon zest and 1 tsp of the lemon juice. Season lightly with salt and white pepper. Bring to a boil and keep at a gentle boil with lid ajar for about 25 minutes. Taste as it cooks, adding more salt as necessary. Its best to add salt gradually to allow it to penetrate the vegetables.
Once the celery root and potatoes are very soft and tender, the soup is done. Be sure they are soft enough to crush with back of a spoon.
Blend a little at a time in a blender until completely blended. Pour back into pot and bring heat back to warm. Add cream and remaining 1 tsp lemon juice. Taste for seasoning. Ladle into bowls with nice drizzle of your best olive, herb or nut oil.