When was the last time you perused the produce aisles and disregarded gnarly looking roots and vegetables because you have no idea what in the heck to do with them? You have likely, on more than one occasion, shunned celery root (aka celeriac).
This mangled looking veggie is nothing short of amazing. Like a good book that should not be judged by its cover, when you peel back the facade of celeriac, you find a crisp and savory flesh ideal for silky soups, as an alternative to potatoes for a mash, and brilliant when roasted with herbs and fruit.
For a soul-warming starter or lunch-time main, try this balanced and nourishing recipe.
Celery Root and Leek Soup with Green Apple and Parsley Oil
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 45 minutes
2 Tbs. coconut oil
2 large leeks, washed thoroughly, tough greens discarded, and chopped
2 large garlic cloves, peeled, and chopped
2 medium celery roots, skin peeled away, and flesh cut into cubes
2 medium celery stalks, chopped
8 cups rich herb vegetable stock
1 tsp. sea salt, plus a pinch
3/4 tsp. ground white pepper
1 large bay leaf
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 small green apple, small diced (place in a bowl with water and a bit of lemon juice after cutting to keep from browning)
1 large handful parsley, including stalks
3/4 cup extra virgin oil
1. In a soup pot over medium-high heat, warm coconut oil. Add leeks and garlic and heat for 2 minutes. Add celery root, and celery and sauté until vegetable are soft, about 8 minutes.
2. Add vegetable stock, sea salt, pepper, and bay leaf, reduce to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice bath (cold water and about 10 ice cubes) in a shallow bowl or dish. Drop parsley into boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove with tongs and transfer to the ice bath. Let cool for 2 minutes, then roll the parsley in a kitchen towel to remove all excess water.
4. Transfer parsley to a Vitamix or other high-blender and add olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Blend on high until thoroughly emulsified. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pressing out all oil into a reserved container. Set aside.
5. Uncover soup, remove bay leaf, and in batches, transfer to cleaned Vitamix or other high-speed blender and purée soup. Be sure to vent blender lid so you don’t have an explosion. Return puréed soup to cleaned soup pot over low heat.
6. Add almond milk to soup and simmer for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
7. Serve in soup bowls with a swirl of parsley oil and dollop of green apple.