We’ve been members of a CSA for years. Celery root is something that always shows up in our boxes in the fall. Our CSA farm sends newsletters with suggestions on how to use and store some of the produce folks may not be used to preparing. The tips for using celery root/celeriac have always been to leave it in your refrigerator and slice off pieces as needed to add to soups, stews and salads. So that is what I have done with it and never looked more into other options. I’ve always treated celeriac like a bay leaf, adding a big slice to soups, and removing it before serving.
But a few weeks ago, I was watching Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on Food Network and someone was serving Dr. Pepper braised short ribs on a bed of celery root puree. It happens that I had two bulbs of celeriac in my refrigerator (one has a few slices taken out), so I started looking up some recipes using celery root and turns out I’ve been using it all wrong and definitely not to it’s full potential. Many of the celery root recipes I saw online use heavy cream or items that I don’t have on hand or don’t like to cook with. But I did see it can remain in soups.
So I chopped up one of celery root bulbs and threw it in with potato leek soup to see what happened. What happened was that that the soup got rave reviews from my husband, in-laws and oldest daughter, so I thought I’d share in case you have a bulb sitting in your fridge.
I don’t really keep or follow soup recipes, so use this as a basic guideline and adjust the taste to your preference!
Celeriac Potato Leek Soup
- 3 large leeks, cleaned and sliced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped (optional)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6-8 medium sized potatoes (I use whatever I have, white, yellow, baking and generally leave the skins on)
- 1 bulb of celery root, peeled and roughly cut into 1 inch chunks
- chicken stock or water [I use about half stock and half water so it’s not too salty and I can taste the leeks, or I use water and add in Better than Bullion at the end, just enough to make the flavor richer (about a tbsp)]
- seasonings to taste (I usually just add a bunch of black pepper at the end, salt may not be needed if you are using stock, other seasoning work especially rosemary and thyme)
- Heat the olive oil, garlic and leeks in a stock pot, and cook over medium to low heat turning once in a while until the leeks are tender (about 5 minutes).
- Add in the potatoes and celery root. Add in enough liquid to cover the potatoes and what not. Cook over medium heat (covered or uncovered), stirring occasionally, until everything is tender, about an hour.
- Blend together with an immersion blender or in a blender in batches. Add seasonings and stir or cook in if desired.
- Serve immediately. We’ve garnished potato leek soup with bacon crumbles, cheese, sour cream, chives, croutons, and parsley, but mostly eat it as is!