A velvety cold-weather celery root soup with potatoes and sautéed shiitake mushrooms.
There isn’t much about its appearance to entice you to put one in your cart, but celery root is truly a wonderful (if underappreciated) root vegetable.
For most of us, celery root (also called celeriac) is uncharted territory. You’ve probably passed it over a number of times, but don’t let its gnarled and bumpy façade fool you, because underneath that rough exterior lies a gem of a vegetable that can be eaten either cooked or raw.
This time of year I like to turn mine into a silky soup.
Its mild flavor and creamy texture make it a comforting cold-weather companion, especially when simmered gently with potatoes and then pureed into a velvety soup. This soup (like many before it) is creamy without the addition of any cream. The potatoes and celery root give the soup all the body and richness it needs.
The flavor is delicate, accented with a touch of leeks, garlic, bay leaf and thyme; unassuming in appearance perhaps but deeply satisfying. I add a couple of dried shiitake mushrooms to the pot to simmer alongside the root vegetables for a touch of umami, then sauté a pile of fresh shiitakes to go on top. Their woodsy flavor is the perfect complement to the earthy soup.
It’s simple as can be, just 20 minutes on the stove, a quick wiz in the blender (you want to keep the blending to a minimum so the potatoes don’t go all gluey) and your soup is ready.
Nothing warms you better from the inside out when it’s cold out.
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