Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Cream of Celeriac and Celery Soup

Cream of Celeriac and Celery Soup
 A flavorful but not-too-rich winter starter

Need a cream soup that’s not a calorie bomb? We’re here for you. Our Cream of Celeriac (aka Celery Root) and Celery Soup is hearty but not overly filling.

Which means you can enjoy this as a first course, and still have plenty of room for the main and dessert.

Perfect for warming up your guests.

 

Cream of Celeriac and Celery Soup
 Recipe: Cream of Celeriac and Celery Soup

This dish bears a family resemblance to Cream of Mushroom Soup.

And it’s every bit as tasty, though not nearly as rich. Which, after the holidays, is what many of us are looking for.

Classic cream soup recipes often use flour as a thickener (as does our Cream of Mushroom Soup). Some modern versions use a purée of potato or rice instead. We don’t find any of those necessary for this soup — puréed celeriac thickens the soup to the perfect texture for our taste.

Prep time for this recipe is about 15 minutes. Cooking time adds about 30 minutes. You can easily prepare this dish a day or two ahead of time, then reheat it when ready to serve.

This dish serves 4. Leftovers will keep for several days if refrigerated in an airtight container.

Ingredients 

  • ½ stick butter (2 ounces)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 to 6 ribs celery, cleaned and finely chopped (to taste; see Notes)
  • salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon kosher salt for us; see Notes)
  • ~ 1½ pounds celeriac, peeled and chopped into ½-inch dice (see Notes)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon dried thyme (to taste)
  • ¼ to 1 cup cream, to taste (about ½ cup for us; see Notes)
  • garnish of chopped parsley (optional)
  • garnish of sliced or chopped prosciutto (optional)

Procedure 

  1. Place a 4-quart stock pot or saucepan over medium stovetop heat. Add the butter and heat it until melted. Then add the onion and celery, and season to taste with salt. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent but not browned.
  2. Add the celeriac and sauté for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and thyme. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer until the celeriac is very soft (15 to 20 minutes).
  3. Use an immersion blender to purée the celeriac mixture until it reaches the consistency you prefer (we’re OK with a slightly chunky texture; see Notes). Add cream to taste, then simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Taste, then adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  4. Ladle up the soup, garnishing (if you wish) with parsley and/or prosciutto.

Cream of Celeriac and Celery Soup

Notes

  • If the soup tastes a bit flat, you could add a squirt of lemon juice right before serving to perk up the flavor.
  • You can make this soup a day or two ahead of time, then refrigerate it in an airtight container. If you go this route, you may find you need to add a touch more cream after you’ve reheated the soup to “refresh” the flavor.
  • Cream adds a lot of richness to this soup. We find that about ½ cup is right for our taste, but use as much or as little as you prefer.
  • You could substitute sour cream for sweet cream in this dish if you like.
  • Celeriac alone actually gives this soup a creamy texture. So you can skip the cream if you want – although you’ll lose some flavor.
  • We recommend using a metal immersion blender to purée the soup (plastic shafts can crack in hot liquid). 
  • No immersion blender? You can use a regular blender or food processor to purée the soup in batches (don’t add too much hot liquid to a blender at one time; otherwise you risk blowing the top off from steam).
  • You can also run the liquid through a food mill (use the disc with the smallest holes for the best texture). 
  • BTW, an immersion blender often doesn’t completely liquify the soup (there may be some chunks of vegetable left). So for a perfectly smooth soup, use the immersion blender first, then run the soup through a food mill or a blender (we’re not that fancy, so we usually don’t do this).
  • The amount of celery you use in this dish is up to your discretion. We like to use 4 large ribs, but anything up to 6 or so should work.
  • Celeriac can be a bit of a pain to peel. Our method is to first wash it (it tends to be dirty). Then we cut thin slices off the top and bottom. We set the celeriac on its bottom end, then use a large knife to peel it from pole to pole, much as we’d cut the skin off an orange.
  • You could use a sturdy swivel peeler, although we find the knife method easier.
  • Once cut, celeriac discolors easily. You can rub it with a cut lemon to slow down that process – though we don’t bother because we cut it up right before adding it to the soup pot.
  • As discussed in the headnote, when making cream soups, you can add some diced russet potato or a tablespoon or two of rice for more body (we add it when we add the stock and cook it until soft). We like the texture of this soup just as it is, but if you want an extra thick soup, you could consider this.
  • Or you could add a couple tablespoons of flour to the cooked onion and celery right after you’ve added the celeriac (at the beginning of Step 2). Cook the flour for a couple of minutes to form a roux. Then add the stock and proceed with the recipe. Again, we don’t think the texture of this soup needs it, but that’s an option if you want a thicker soup.
  • We like to use thyme in this soup, and at this time of the year we’re using dried thyme rather than fresh. Since the quality of dried thyme is generally good, that’s no loss.
  • You could substitute another herb of choice if you prefer.
  • We use kosher salt in cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the crystals are larger and more irregular, so they pack a measure less tightly). If using table salt, start with about half the amount we suggest. But always season to your taste, not ours.
  • We don’t think this soup needs black pepper. But by all means have some available at table so diners can add it if they disagree.
  • BTW, the prosciutto garnish looks nice and its flavor also pairs delightfully with the cream. And its salty flavor adds a touch of tang to the soup. You can skip it, but it really does enhance the dish. We use anywhere from ½ slice to 1 slice of prosciutto per serving.
  • If you use sour cream instead of sweet cream in this soup, substituting smoked salmon for the prosciutto might be interesting. We haven’t tried this, but like the idea.

Cream of Celeriac and Celery Soup
Souped Up

“Yum,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “We should use celery more often in soups.”

“Don’t want you to feel like you’re being stalked,” I said.

“That joke was painful,” said Mrs K R. “Maybe we should call this Scream of Celeriac.”

“Perhaps another helping would be thymely?” I said. “To ease your suffering.”

“Yes,” said Mrs K R. “Unlike the prosciutto, I still need to be cured.”

Mrs K R. She’s my souper ego.

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56 comments:

  1. I am a huge soup fan and will be trying this. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Anne, it's a lovely soup -- loaded with flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  2. I absolutely love celeriac roots and use them all the time. The cleaned peel will add flavor to homemade broth. Thanks for the recipe John.

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    1. Hi Gerlinde, I rarely use celeriac peels -- I should definitely do more with them. Thanks for the idea. And the comment. :-)

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  3. Great idea for using celeriac! I'm only aware of it in a salad. I like soup to be both thick and also have some chunky bits, so I remove some of the vegetables before I set on it with my immersion blender -- that would work for this recipe as well as for the ones I've done in the past.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Mae, we like some chunks of flavor in our soup! Although sometimes it's nice to have a perfectly blended soup, too. Thanks for the comment.

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  4. I love cream of celery soup so I'm sure I would devour a bowl of this soup.

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    1. Hi Pam, this was originally going to be just cream of celery, but became more. Obviously. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  5. This makes a great starter soup but I could eat a big helping just for my lunch

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    1. Hi Pat and Dahn, this does indeed make a good lunch. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  6. Agree sometimes creamy soups gives that heavy feeling, while it tastes good the guilt that accompanies it haunts you. This dish gives that nice balance, not to creamy but still gives you that warming satsifying feeling. Nice!

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    1. Hi Raymund, this really isn't too heavy. And great flavor! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  7. I love this. I am a huge fan of celeriac and I always thought I should prepare a dish with added celery. You beat me to it. Loove lovely.

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    1. Hi Evelyne, double celery is good! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  8. We love cream of celeriac soup, so flavourful. I usually only add the cream when we have guests but I find it is creamy and rich enough with puréing the celeriac. Peeling the celery is genius, I usually run the soup through a fine sieve to catch all the celery hairs. Happy New Year John
    Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com/

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    1. Hi Eva, celeriac is such great stuff -- neat flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  9. As I said in FB, I love anything with celériac! I like soups like this - and don’t mind a bit of cream at all. Just delightful, John - thanks so much!

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    1. Hi David, we love cream in soups, too. And this really has a fairly modest amount. Thanks for the comment.

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  10. Would like to try this soonest - find the recipe very interesting ! Celeriac for some odd reason is not always available here (perchance many do not know how to use it?) and I do not make enough use of celery . . . so, this is doubly interesting to try ! Fresh thyme is no problem year-round here and the salmon sounds inviting. As I virtually use no cream in my cooking am wondering how a wee bit of plain yoghurt upon serving would add/detract from the total . . .

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    1. Hi Eha, interesting idea bout the yogurt -- don't see why that wouldn't work. Let me know how it turns out. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  11. I love celery but I have never tried celeriac. This creamy soup sounds like the perfect recipe to start with!

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    1. Hi Laura, celeriac is good stuff -- you'll like. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  12. That looks so creamy and delicious, John, and it makes a perfect winter warmer that everyone NEEDS in life!

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    1. Hi Angie, we definitely do need this! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  13. I recently discovered that I love celeriac. Can’t wait to try this soup. It looks fabulous.

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    1. Hi MJ, celeriac is terrific! One of those veggies that most of us, don't use enough. Thanks for the comment.

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  14. I love celeriac and always add it to my chicken soup. This sounds like a soup I could love!

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    1. Hi Abbe, gotta try adding celeriac to chicken soup! Great idea. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  15. i like the idea of using smoked salmon here. and i had never thought of using pureed potato as a thickener for soups. Great idea!

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    1. Hi Sherry, the potato adds some terrific body -- we usually use it instead of flour when we want a nice, thick soup. Thanks for the comment.

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  16. Celeriac root makes it to our table in many dishes, but I've not made it in a soup such as this. I'll put celeriac on our online food order for next week (yes, we're back to not going to the store). Take care...

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    1. Hi Ron, we're still going to the grocery store, but we're wearing two masks. Overkill, but the current COVID variant is SO contagious -- although fortunately not a huge threat to those that are boosted (as we are). Stay safe! And thanks for the comment.

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  17. I've made cream of celery soup before, but I've never used celery root in it. However, I love celery root, and so it seems like a fantastic choice to deepend the flavor and give heft to the body. Nice!

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    1. Hi Jeff, this started out as cream of celery soup, but took a turn. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  18. Replies
    1. Hi Denise, it's really good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  19. I rarely use celeriac in cooking due to lack of availability and cost really, however celery is indispensable in my cooking. This soup looks delicious, and I can't wait to try this recipe when the weather cools down or the wet season arrives.It makes me feel healthy just reading the recipe:)Scream of Celeriac is a great name for the soup, Halloween perhaps?

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    1. Hi Pauline, we need to do something at Halloween with Scream of Celeriac! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  20. Delicious! I always get a good laugh at the end of your posts, it's like dad jokes at their finest lol.

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    1. Hi Martha, those are definitely dad jokes. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  21. So creamy and tempting! I haven't used celery root in ages---time to remedy that!!

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    1. Hi Liz, celery root isn't one of those things we use all that often, either. So good though! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  22. Thanks for the reminder about celery root. Need to make this delicious recipe when we see one at the market. Come to think of it, have not seen any in awhile. Hoping this New Year is treating you well. Take care

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    1. Hi Bobbi, our supermarket usually has celery root, although sometimes we have to search for it. And they never have very many. Thanks for the comment.

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  23. This looks really, really good. I am a serious soup, and especially, creamy soup fan.

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    1. Hi Balvinder, we love soup too! Particularly at this time of the year. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  24. Thanks for the reminder that I don't cook/use celeriac nearly as often as I should. I'm definitely picking up some on my next trip to the supermarket now.

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    1. Hi Carolyn, we don't use it enough either. Gotta fix that. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  25. I am a huge fan of celeriac, so this soup is right up my street. It looks seriously delicious, creamy, and velvety.

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    1. Hi Ben, really creamy, and really, really velvety. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  26. I really like celeriac and I don't think it gets the attention it deserves. The soup sounds delicious and I love that it's inherently creamy. :-) ~Valentina

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    1. Hi Valentina, it doesn't get enough attention! Too bad -- it's so good. Thanks for the comment.

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  27. We love celeriac base dishes (salads). But i havent tried its soup before, thanks for the recipe.

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    1. Hi B&S, we usually have celeriac in salads, but it's wonderful in soup. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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