Unlike its cousin, the common celery, celeriac (also known as celery root or knob celery) is grown for its roots rather than its stalks and leaves. As ugly as the root may look, it offers a white flesh that, when cooked, becomes incredibly tender.
Today’s simple soup highlights the celeriac’s exquisite flavor and silky-smooth texture. Garnished with a drizzle of lemon-infused oil and crispy lemon zest, this is a delicately flavored, low-calorie soup that’s hard to resist!
Celeriac is also delicious raw. Try this crunchy and refreshing salad: Celeriac and apple salad with watercress and Meyer lemon-shallot vinaigrette.
Food & wine pairing: California Chardonnay with celeriac soup
A not-too-acidic, medium to full-bodied white wine with mellow citrus notes is best for this soup. Try a white blend from southern Rhône (typically blends of Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne) or a Chardonnay from California.
Celeriac soup with crispy lemon zest and lemon-infused oil
active time: 30 min
For the soup
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 shallots – skinned, quartered and finely sliced
- 2 large garlic cloves – skinned and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 8 oz (225 g) white potato (1 medium) – peeled and cut in 1″ cubes
- 1 1/2 lbs (680 g) celeriac (2 medium) – peeled and cut in 1″ cubes
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups spring water
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt or to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the crispy lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 lemons peeled with a vegetable hand-peeler – zest cut in 1/16″ julienne slices
- lemon-infused oil as garnish
- Step 1: Heat a medium heavy-bottomed soup pot at medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and shallots. Stir well and sauté for 2 minutes, until shallots have softened. Add the garlic and wine. Stir and continue to sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until the wine has almost completely evaporated and reduced to a syrupy sauce. Add the potato and celeriac cubes, 3 1/2 cups of water, vegetable stock, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, reduce heat to medium to medium-low, cover the pot and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until the celeriac is very tender.
- Step 2: For the crispy lemon zest – Heat a small frying pan to medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and julienned lemon zest. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until zest is crispy and golden-brown, tossing constantly. Drain on paper towel and set aside until ready to use.
- Step 3: Purée the soup with a stick blender or food processor until very smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Thin with the balance of the spring water to the desired consistency. Adjust the seasoning if needed and remove from heat. Ladle the soup in bowls. Garnish with a spoonful of lemon-infused oil and a few crispy lemon zest and serve immediately.