home cooked dinners by the season

Celery Root Cauliflower Soup

Celery Root Cauliflower Soup

Some things are just more beautiful on the inside, like celery root.  You may have skimmed over it in the produce section thinking what is this unattractive and obscure vegetable, and how would I use it. Also known as celery knob or celeriac, it might make sense it is the root of what we commonly know as celery stalks. Nope, it’s a root vegetable all on its own with a flavor somewhere between celery and parsley. A vegetable peeler will get you past the knobby exterior. Trim the ends and then its ready to be used in so many fun ways. Simmered and mashed as a side vegetable or as a perch for seafood or chicken. Sliced thinly, tossed with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and roasted. Sliced into strips or grated and tossed in a salad.

Which brings me to this soup where celery root is simmered until very soft, along with cauliflower florets – one of the easiest ways to use it. And the absolute best part is using an immersion blender that you stick right in the simmered soup to make the puree. I hope you have one. If not, transferring the soup to a food processor works great too. Just a little more mess and dishes.

Side note – I have to come clean to you about my relationship with cauliflower. I avoided it for a large portion of my life. I wasn’t in love with its texture or bland flavor. My loss I know. But I think I wasn’t alone. And yes, I admit to being a follower and not a leader with cauliflower waiting until other hipper ways to use it became popular – like tossing it in olive oil and roasting, it or slicing it and searing it like a steak. I can thank the popularity of vegan cooking for opening my eyes.

Okay, back to the soup. Yes the cauliflower pulls its weight being the majority ingredient but what a difference the celery root makes. Just enough to boost the flavor to extraordinary. Celery root’s season is September to May and they range in size from an apple to a small melon.

Unpeeled celery root

Peeled celery root

Chopped celery root

Blade end of a hand-held immersion blender


Celery Root Cauliflower Soup
 
Serves: 8 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 large garlic clove finely chopped
  • 5 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 8 cups 1-1/2 to 2-inch cauliflower florets (approximately 2-pound head)
  • 2 cups chopped celery root (1 medium size)
  • ¾ teaspoon dried thyme leaves or 1 tablespoon fresh
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons cream, optional
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Chopped Italian parsley for garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat butter or oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; and onions and cook and stir until lightly browned about 5 minutes adding garlic in the last minute. Add broth, cauliflower, celery root, salt and thyme leaves; bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until cauliflower and celery root are very soft and falling apart about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove soup from heat.
  2. Puree soup using a hand-held immersion blender or in a food processor. Stir in optional cream. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  3. Garnish with parsley


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25 thoughts on “Celery Root Cauliflower Soup”

  • Best Vegetarian Soup I’ve ever had. Lots of flavor and savory. I’m more of a carnivore than a vegetarian so coming from me is a testament to all the other carnivores out there!

      • Your cooking class was wonderful. I haven’t tackled the soup as yet but have revised my opinion of cauliflower. I’ve sent the recipe on to Kate in London. Thanks for being you!

        • I am so glad your opinion of cauliflower has been changed. Be sure to try it roasted like we discussed in class. I hope Kate enjoys the recipe!

  • I am soooo happy to be back on your amazing blog!!! I’ve been wanting to purchase an immersion blender. What would you recommend ? Thank you Linda!

    • Welcome back Beth! I have the Kitchen Aid 3-speed model that has a few attachments and I love it. It is simple and easy to clean. Cuisinart has one that is similar.

  • Glad to see a recipe from you again. I was just thinking I need to make more soup and I have a head of cauliflower in my refrigerator. This looks great, thanks for the inspiration.

  • Hi Linda
    We made this soup tonight, delish! I’ve never had celery root , it was fun to have a veggie I’ve never eaten – just didn’t know what to do with it, thank you! Now I’m wondering about turnips, another veg I’ve never know what to do with. Any suggestions?
    Love what you do Linda, thank you!!!!

    • I love hearing from you and I am so happy to hear you gave celery root a try. Another easy and wonderful way to use it is to simmer peeled chunks of it in half water and half milk seasoned with salt until soft. Then drain and reserve a little of the cooking liquid; puree the celery root and add back a little of the cooking liquid if you want. I use it as a side vegetable or as a bed for grilled seafood or prawns. I have not used turnips in a pureed soup. They have a stronger flavor and contain more water so I am not sure how the texture would be. You could try a vegetable puree with turnips similar to what I suggested with the celery root.

  • Just made a batch of celery root cauliflower soup! Since the grocer sold the celery root in groups of three, I was reading your suggestions as to other fun uses. But now that I’ve tasted the soup, the answer is clear. Another batch of soup is in our near future – Web loves it, too! Thanks for the recipe that made my kitchen an adventuresome place to be in these quiet, isolated times!

    Hugs to you!

    Carol

    • Carol – It is so nice to hear from you and I am thrilled you (and Web!) enjoyed the celery root soup. It truly is a “sleeper” vegetable and once you know how to use it – it is so easy. Thank you for taking the time to write.

  • This is a wonderful soup recipe!
    a great variation is to reduce the amount of stock and ‘steam boil’ the vegetables until they are just soft enough to be mashed (like potatoes). Drain, reduction the stock remaining (its starchy and creamy when reduced), mix it with the cream and butter and add to the vegetables either mashed or pushes thru a ricer. It’s a wonderful side dish with just about any protein.

    • Suzanne – thanks for posting this variation to make as a side dish – I too love it this way. I am glad you enjoyed the soup!
      Take care, Linda

  • I finally had all the right ingredients to make this delicious soup tonight. It was perfect for a chilly, mountain, June evening! Thank you for the inspiration, Linda!

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