This Cream of Celery and Celery Root Soup is smooth and delicate, and its elegant celery leaf garnish makes it a perfect first course for a dinner party—which was our original plans. Adding celery root (a relative of celery) imbues the soup with even deeper celery flavor.
Found in our Fine Cooking Magazine, several reviewers mentioned they thought the soup was flat. Au contraire mon ami, we loved the silken flavor profile. Perhaps ours was more robust in that we used homemade chicken stock which amps up flavor tenfold as opposed to any bland store bought version. In addition, The Hubs tossed in a 1/2 teaspoon each of celery salt and white pepper.
Unfortunately the dinner party plans fell apart for a number of reasons, but that didn’t stop us from dividing the soup in half; one part destined for the freezer in the hopes those dinner plans would come together again soon, and the other for us to nosh on for lunch the next day.
UPDATE: We did use the “freezer” portion of the soup for that dinner party a few weeks later, and luckily it thawed just fine.
Cream of Celery and Celery Root Soup
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 6 cups thinly sliced celery (reserve 1/4 cup celery leaves)
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- Kosher salt
- 3 cups peeled, small-diced celery root
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 fresh or 1/2 dried bay leaf
- 2 Tbs. crème fraîche
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Canola oil for frying
- In a 4-quart pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the celery, onion, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook until tender and just beginning to color, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Add the celery root and stir to coat with the butter. Pour in the chicken broth, and then add the thyme, bay leaf, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil; then reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes.
- Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf and purée the soup in a blender until smooth. Pass the soup through a medium-fine sieve and transfer to a clean pot.
- Bring the soup back up to a simmer, whisk in the crème fraîche (please don’t omit this important ingredient), and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep hot.
- Heat 1/2 inch of canola oil in a 1-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the celery leaves and cook until crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the celery leaves to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the celery leaves.
Recipe by Melissa Pellegrino for Fine Cooking