As I was standing in the produce section without a grocery list, stopped by chance with my shopping cart in front of the cauliflower and celery root, thinking about what kind of soup I’d like to make, a woman saw me and asked, “How do you cook celery root?” Before I answered her, I had this funny thought: celery root is likely the only common vegetable in this part of the country that I’ve never prepared. Of course I’ve seen celery root soup on restaurant menus… So I answered her with something along those lines, and picked up the following ingredients to try creating something entirely new to me.
I made the soup with no additional seasonings, thinking I’d taste it after it was pureed, perhaps then complement the flavor with nutmeg and coriander? or perhaps ground mustard and lemon? I found it wonderfully flavorful just as it was, no additional spices needed. The arugula gives it spicy peppery notes (as well as calcium, vitamins A, C, & K, and minerals too including iron), and the maple syrup toasted hazelnuts give it a complementary sweetness and crunch. I think this may be my best soup recipe yet!
- 1 medium celery root, peeled & chopped (about 4 cups)
- 1/2 medium cauliflower, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 medium red potato, chopped
- 1 medium sized leek, white & light green portions, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cube Celifibr brand organic vegetable bouillion
- 5-6 cups fresh water
- 1 cup milk (optional if you want thicker & whiter soup)
- 1/2 t sea salt, black pepper
- 4 cups or so arugula
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped or crushed, for garnish
- 1 T maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic, minced
Chop both ends off of celery root, then place root solidly on largest flat end to stabilize. Use sharp knife to then slice away outer rough skin, cutting from top to bottom as you work your way around the root to expose the inner white lovely vegetable. Slice into rounds then cube and set aside.
Bring one cup water to a boil then dissolve 1/2 cube of Celifibr vegetable bouillon, and set aside. Using large soup pot and a couple tablespoons olive oil, saute the chopped red potato and leeks for 3 minutes until leeks are fragrant and potatoes slightly browned. Add minced garlic and continue stirring for 2 minutes before adding chopped celery root and dissolved bouillon plus 5 cups fresh water. Bring just to boil then turn down heat to simmer covered for 15-20 minutes or so, until celery root is getting soft but not yet done– then add chopped cauliflower for last 5-10 minutes of simmering until everything is soft. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.
Remove from heat to cool some before pureeing in batches in blender. Return to soup pot. Using heavy skillet over medium heat, stir roughly chopped or crushed hazelnuts. When they’ve begun to brown, add minced garlic and maple syrup and continue to stir until toasty and fragrant. Transfer to glass container. Using same skillet, saute arugula just until wilted. Stir into pureed soup. Serve garnished with hazelnuts.