Dana Treat – Treat Yourself

Family Obsessions

Posted January 20, 2012

Celery Root Soup
Adapted from Chow
Serves 4-6

I topped this soup with a sprinkle of garlicky breadcrumbs that I had leftover from another recipe.  I loved the added dimension of texture and the hint of flavor.  This soup would also taste great with larger croutons of grilled bread or without any garnish at all.

Olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced leek (about 1 medium), white and light green parts only
Kosher or sea salt
2 ½ pounds celery root, also known as celeriac (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
12 ounces boiling potatoes (about 2 large), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 medium tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped or 1 tsp. dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cups water
2 cups vegetable broth (I like Rapunzel brand)
Bread crumbs, for garnish (optional)
Garlicky breadcrumbs, optional

Place a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high.  Pour in just enough olive oil to coat the bottom, then add the leeks with a large pinch of salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add celery root, potatoes, apple, garlic, thyme, another pinch salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Stir to coat vegetables with oil, add water and broth, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until vegetables just give way when pierced with a knife, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth, removing the small cap from the blender lid (the pour lid) and covering the space with a kitchen towel (this allows steam from the hot soup to escape and prevents the blender lid from popping off). Once blended, transfer the soup back to the saucepan and keep warm over low heat.  Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. To serve, drizzle with olive oil and breadcrumbs if desired.

Garlicky Breadcrumbs

3 large thick slices stale country bread
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher or sea salt

Tear the slices of bread into small pieces.  Put into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.  Process into very fine crumbs.  You may need to stop the machine and move the bread around a bit and will have to process for a couple of minutes to get the right consistency.  Set aside.

Place a sauté pan over medium heat.  Drizzle in the oil, then add the bread crumbs and the garlic along with a large pinch of salt.  Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the bread is nice and crunchy, about 10 minutes.  Set aside.  (Unused breadcrumbs can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days.)

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