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Turkey Tracks: Celeriac Cream Soup

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Turkey Tracks:  December 26, 2012

Celeriac Cream Soup

How many of you know what a celeriac root is?

I can guarantee you that I did not before I moved to Maine and joined Hope’s Edge, our Community Shared Agriculture (CSA).

Celeriac roots are a very common root, storage vegetable in Europe.  They can be peeled and grated raw for a salad, grated and sautéed, braised, or cut up and added to a soup or stew.  You can pretty much treat them like a potato or a rutabega, though they are less dense than a potato.  Or, they can be the “star” of their own soup.  They have a mild celery taste and probably have components that are really good for you.  They stored well in my refrigerator–I got them from Hope’s Edge back in October.

Here’s what a celeriac root vegetable looks like.  I put potatoes I needed for the soup in the background so you can see the contrast.  I run my knife down the sides to peel them–turning them over to get what I missed at the bottom when I’ve gone all the way around.  When you cut open a celeriac, the flesh is white and very dense.

celeriac and potatoes

The Farmer John Cookbook had a nice celeriac soup recipe, so I started from there.  It’s pretty much the same method that Julia Child teaches for her leek and potato soup.

Leeks or onions–I used onions as I was out of leeks–sweated out in a bit of butter.

I added carrots, some garlic scapes from the freezer, and some actual garlic.  I didn’t add extra celery as I wanted to see how “celery” the celeriac is.

Be patient with the sweating out–in a heavy pan, like a Creuset.  (If I could have only one pan, it would be a Creuset pot.  The next would be a cast iron skillet.)  Cook slowly over medium heat.  Add sea salt.  Stir to keep anything from burning prematurely.  When you begin to get bits of caramel browning–throw in the stock.  I used my last batch of chicken bone broth–simmered for 2 days in the crock pot and then strained.  I don’t strain off any fat as I’m quite sure now that fat does not make you fat and that we all need good sources of fat to be healthy.

Throw in the cut up celeriac–you need 3 to 4 cups for about 8 cups of broth.  You could have more or less of either.  Throw in, too, two or three peeled potatoes–which will thicken up the soup.

Here’s an interesting addition–about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of almonds–I put a few handfuls in the blender and let it rip until I have a nice powdery nut mix.  The almond will also thicken the soup and will add a delicate flavor.

Grate in some fresh nutmeg.  Taste for salt and add more if needed.

Let it all cook for 25 minutes or until the celeriac is soft.  Here’s what it looked like on the stove–you can see the almond “flour” on the top.

celeraic cream soup in process

Then, turn it off, let it cool a bit, and “boat motor” it with an immersion blender.   When all is smooth, add at least a cup of heavy, preferably raw, cream.  Stir, taste for salt and nutmeg, and serve in a bowl.  You could put a chunk of butter on the top once the soup is in the bowl.  Or, a drizzle of cream or sour cream.  It’s really rich.

Here it is finished:

celeriac cream soup

Celeriac cream soup has a delicate, lovely flavor.  Enjoy!

Written by louisaenright

December 26, 2012 at 3:59 pm

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