Don't be afraid to get adventurous in the produce aisle.
You may have passed celeriac in the produce section and filed it away under weird, exotic vegetables you'd never attempt to cook with. It looks like an oddly shaped bulb that belongs in the ground (like some of these ugly foods you should be eating). No need to be intimidated, though. Celeriac is a similar plant to the more familiar celery stalks you're used to; they come from the same species. Celeriac has a starchier taste and is less crunchy. This recipe, developed by Nicole Centeno, founder and CEO of Splendid Spoon and author of Soup Cleanse Cookbook, combines celeriac with celery stalks and leaves to pack a whole lot of celery into one bowl of soup.
Why try it? First off, celery is high in phytonutrients and vitamins. Raw, it might just seem like a "negative-calorie" vehicle for peanut butter, but when the stalks are cooked, celery becomes less bitter and releases strong aromas. In this recipe, the mild flavor of a russet potato allows the taste of onion and celery to take over. The entire dish is well-seasoned with sea salt and a generous amount of thyme. So yeah, it's pretty delicious.
Celeriac and Celery Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, woody stems removed and leaves finely chopped
- Pinch of ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 pounds celeriac, peeled and diced
- 1 small russet potato, diced
- 1 cup celery leaves (whatever you can pull from the celery you have on hand)
- 1 1/2 quarts water
- Warm the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Cook onion, celery ribs, and garlic, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender and translucent. Stir in thyme, pepper, and salt. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Add celeriac, potato, and celery leaves and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until fragrant. (Leave a few celery leaves on the side as garnish.) Add water, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender or countertop blender, purée soup until very smooth.
- Pour into warm bowls and garnish with extra celery leaves.