Ahh, the celery root. You poor, misunderstood vegetable.
There is a delicious creaminess to celery root and because of it and the chill in the air, I went ahead and made a soup out of this monstrosity. I fear I am getting to be predictable with my soup making. I suppose there are worse things.
I made this soup a week ago. Then I went to Chicago for my dear friends’, Jenny and Sayan, wedding (congrats!). In lieu of a bachelorette party, Jenny wanted to go to a cooking class (I love my foodie friends!). And what else was on the menu but Apple and Celery Root Bisque with Thyme Croutons (among other delicious dishes to be discussed later). I couldn’t believe how ahead of the curve I was with my adventures the previous weekend.
There were some subtle differences – I used homemade garlic croutons instead of thyme; I made a chive oil to drizzle on top of the soup instead of just a garnish of chopped chives and mine lacked cream and maple syrup … In some ways, it was a fantastic opportunity to see how well I fare on my own compared to in the presence of a culinary instructor.
The verdict: I wasn’t too shabby, if I do say so myself. Of course that was after several glasses of wine and an evening spent with fabulous friends, so there is some chance that my self esteem was slightly higher than average.
That’s not to say that I didn’t learn anything at our cooking class, but more on that later. For now, I am going to go ahead and give you both of the soup recipes.
Celery Root and Apple Soup
from Bon Appetit********** 2 tablespoons butter 2 cups peeled celery root, diced in 1/2 inch pieces 2 green apples, peeled, cored and diced 1/2 onion, chopped 2 cups vegetable broth 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 1/3 cup chopped chives 1/3 cup grapeseed oil Pinch of salt **********
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add celery root, apples, and onion. Cook until apples and some of celery root are translucent (do not brown), stirring often, about 15 minutes. Add 2 cups broth. Cover and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer covered until celery root and apples are soft, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to pot. Season to taste with apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper.
Puree chives, grapeseed oil, and pinch of salt in blender until smooth.
Rewarm soup over medium heat. Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle croutons over each serving. Drizzle each bowl with chive oil.
Celery Root and Apple Bisque
from The Chopping Block (Chicago)********** Bisque 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 medium-size celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces 2 tart apples, peeled and cut into large dice 1 onion, medium dice 3 cloves garlic, minced 4 to 6 cups vegetable stock 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 2 teaspoons chives, minced 1/2 heavy cream 1 tablespoon maple syrup Celery salt and pepper to taste Thyme Croutons 3 tablespoons butter 2 cups multigrain, rye, sourdough or French bread, cut into 1/2 inch dice 1 large clove garlic, minced 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, rough chopped salt and pepper to taste **********
Heat a heavy soup pot over medium heat and add the butter and olive oil.
Saute the celery root, apples and onions, stirring occasionally, until they are lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute.
Add the stock and apple cider vinegar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered until the celery root is knife tender, about 25 minutes.
Puree the soup in a blender, in batches if necessary, until smooth.
Return the soup to the pot and stir in the heavy cream and maple syrup. Season with celery salt and pepper to taste.
For thyme croutons:
Heat a saute pan over medium heat and add the butter. Once the butter is frothy, toss in the bread cubes and cook, tossing frequently, until the bread is just starting to become golden brown.
Remove from the heat and toss in the garlic and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and allow to cool a bit before using.
Serve the soup in warmed bowls with croutons.