Celeriac, (aka Celery Root) is definitely something I would throw into a category of, "doesn't look like I should eat it."  But why not eat this knobby thing, once it is peeled it tastes and smells like another well known vegetable.  Those long green stalks that our mothers smeared with peanut butter and dotted with little raisins have always been a staple in my grocery cart that won't raise any flags.  But every time I buy celeriac at my grocery store the check-out clerks give me puzzled looks as they hold up the clear plastic bags. "It's celery root" I say, making them feel better that I am not purchasing what looks like an alien turnip on a really bad hair day.     

    I started looking into what you do with celeriac and I discovered one of my favorite ways to cook with it is roasting, like in my Roasted White Vegetable dish.  Another popular cooking method is to puree it in a soup as seen here.  Celeriac soup is a perfect warming winter soup that must be served alongside some crusty bread and perhaps some vegetarian cheese (If I am just serving soup for dinner I like to include some bread and cheese to make it a bit heartier).  The recipe includes roasted garlic, but if you are not fond of a strong garlic taste you could definitely lower the amount used.  It also includes a drizzle of chive oil, which is actually very easy to make and really quite essential to the soup.

Celeriac and Roasted Garlic Soup

serves 6-8 people

4-6 head of garlic (depending on how garlicky you want the soup to be)
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
salt and fresh ground black pepper
3 medium onions, chopped
1 1/2 pounds of celeriac root, peeled and chopped (about 2-3 large knobs)
1 pound of cauliflower, chopped into small pieces (about 1/2 a head)
2 quarts of vegetable stock or Ultrabroth
2 teaspoons salt

Chive Oil (recipe below)
Broccoli micro greens for garnish (optional)


Preheat the oven to 400° F.  Cut off the top third of the garlic heads (using as many as you wish) and place them on a sheet of aluminum foil.  Drizzle 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over the garlic and then sprinkle them with some salt and fresh ground black pepper.  Pull up the sides of the aluminum foil, wrapping the garlic inside and pinching it all together at the top.  Roast the garlic in the oven for about 45 minutes.   Let the garlic sit until it is cool enough to handle, and then pop out the soft cloves (I like to use a chopstick to pop them out).  Set the garlic aside.

In a large soup pot or saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and add the onions.  Cook the onions over medium high heat until they are translucent, about 5-8 minutes.  Add the chopped celeriac and chopped cauliflower.  Cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes more.  Stir in the roasted garlic, vegetable stock and 2 teaspoons salt.  Bring everything to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Partially cover the the pot and simmer for 45 minutes or until the celeriac and cauliflower is soft.  Blend the soup until smooth using an immersion hand blender or in batches in a regular blender.  Serve warm in large bowls topped with chive oil and a sprinkle of micro greens. 


Chive Oil:  In a food processor, puree the chives (about 1 large handful) and slowly add about 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil and continue to puree for about 2-3 minutes.  Then just run the oil through a fine mesh strainer or you could even use some cheese cloth.  If you don't use the oil the same day you make it, keep it stored in the refrigerator because it will discolor faster if you leave it at room temperature.  (Since it is oil, it will most likely separate and thicken if it is kept in the refrigerator, but all you have to do it leave it out on the counter for a few minutes to liquify, and then just give it a good shake before drizzling over the top of your soup). 
 


Comments

01/15/2013 1:45am

This soup looks delicious, and I love chive oil. We use it at the restaurant and it's all I can do not to pour it all over everything I eat. Nice photos!

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01/15/2013 12:11pm

Thanks Jessica. I love to drizzle chive oil over everything too...especially mashed sweet potatoes.

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01/15/2013 12:54pm

This looks amazing, love the photos.

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01/15/2013 1:07pm

Thanks Amy!

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Nancy Q
01/15/2013 8:44pm

Cannot wait to try this recipe. Looks YUMMY!

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01/15/2013 8:47pm

Thanks Nancy, all you have to do is look for the ugliest vegetable in the grocery store ;)

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Wow, it look delicious. Thanks for the recipes. I need to try this by myself.

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