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Surprise, surprise– it’s another soup recipe!  I just can’t help myself.  When it’s cold, I make soup, and today is snowing.  (Yes, in Seattle!)  I actually made this a couple weeks back, but have been craving it ever since.  I would make another pot tonight but don’t have celery root in the house, and I won’t be getting out to a store anytime soon…

Have you seen celery root?  Also known as celeriac, it looks like something you should lob at the head of a burglar, but it tastes delicious.  Imagine the green crunchiness of celery with the earthiness of a root vegetable and you get an idea of the flavor of the ugly knot of a thing.  I bought one intending to make this salad, but the look of horror on my husband’s face when I showed him the recipe clued me in: it was important to ease him gently into the world of celeriac appreciation if I ever wanted to feed it to him again.  I find that soups are a good starting point when you’re deciding whether or not to like the taste of a particular food.  I wasn’t quite brave enough to make a straight-up celery root soup, so I added an equal amount of parsnips, a vegetable we both love; the combination was perfect, the soup was lovely and I think I can put celery root on the menu again soon.  Maybe not that salad quite yet; we’ll try a gratin next.  But you should try this soup!

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 4 T. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium celery root (about 1 lb.), peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 lb. parsnips, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (1 tsp. dried)
  • 3 c. chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1-2 c. whole milk
  • 2 oz. aged gouda, shredded (parmesan would work)
  • salt & pepper

In a soup pot, melt 1 T. butter with the olive oil on medium heat; the olive oil will help to prevent burning the butter.  Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 5 mins.  Add the parsnips, celery root and thyme; cook for 1-2 mins. Add the stock and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat back to medium and simmer for 20 mins. or until vegetables are tender.  Using an immersion blender, food processor or equivalent, puree the soup and return to the pot.  Add the remaining 3 T. of butter and the milk, starting with 1 c. and adding more to achieve the consistency you want.  Heat slowly, stirring constantly, until soup is heated through.  Remove from the heat, add the cheese and stir until incorporated.  Season with salt & pepper to taste and serve.