With this cool weather, the comfort from a warm bowl of soup keeps calling. Although celeriac may look scary, it’s easy to work with after you peel it.
The idea for this fall root vegetable combination came from Gracie’s in Providence, RI, where I once had a scrumptious cream of celeriac soup that will forever remain in my top taste memories. This version is less rich, slightly healthier and a good use of my last veggie share of the season. The parsnips give it a sweetness to counteract any bitterness from the celeriac. If you’re not feeling inspired to make an elegant soup, use the puree for a nice alternative to mash potatoes.
This recipe is one that requires lots of tasting. You decide how rich or healthy you want it to be. If you want a more decadent dish, simply add extra butter and cream till your arteries are content.
Celeriac and Parsnip Puree/Soup
2 large parsnips
Freshly ground black pepper
6 tbsps of butter
1 medium leek
2 cups of vegetable broth
1 cup of cream or 1/2 and 1/2
Black or white truffle oil, if desired
Peel parsnips and celeriac and cut into small cubes. Place in a large saucepan of salted water. Bring to a boil and continue cooking for about 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Drain and puree in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Add a little vegetable broth if needed to smooth. Add 1 tbsp of butter and 1/4 cup of cream. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Process till mixed. You can leave this as a puree at this point or keep going.
If you puree it, you can be creative here and add sour cream, creme fraiche, parm or goat cheese or truffle oil, depending on what flavors and consistency you want. The only difference with the soup is adding more vegetable broth, cream and butter. Keep tasting until you’re satisfied with the flavor combination.
If you want to make soup, here’s the rest of the recipe:
Thinly dice the leek and saute with some salt and pepper for 5 minutes over low heat in 2 tbsps of butter in the large saucepan you used before (you might need to clean it if the celeriac left a ring of dirt). Add the puree mixture and stir to mix. Add in 1 cup of vegetable broth and stir to incorporate. Stir in 1/2 cup of cream or half and half. Keep adding either broth or cream depending on your desired level of richness/healthiness. I went with a good mixture of both. Add in another tbsp or two of butter. Then stir in a few drops of truffle oil. Taste and adjust butter, cream and truffle oil as desired.