‘That’s how celery should taste!’
My friend Steve made that comment when I made this soup for his 50th birthday party. So many people shy away from this root veggie; besides the taste concern, it looks like a brain.
Inside that wrinkled exterior is a mellow, nutty-tasting flesh that just loves to be versatile. Roast, steam, mash or use it raw, but I mostly love it blended for a soup or sauce.
Today I sauteed it with fennel and topped it with super crispy purple potato croutons for texture, and because who doesn’t love a crispy, crunchy potato?
Fennel Celeriac Soup
1 tbls ghee or olive oil
2 shallots, diced
1 small fennel bulb, sliced no fronds or stems
1 celeriac root, dice
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2-4 cups vegetable broth
a couple of fresh thyme twigs
1 tsp pink salt
Fresh black pepper to taste
Crispy Potato Croutons
1 tsp melted ghee
1-2 purple potatoes
2 garlic cloves
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment. Small dice the potato and garlic. Toss with the melted ghee and a pinch of salt. Place on a sheet pan and bake until crispy, 30-45 minutes.
Heat a soup pan over medium heat. Melt in the ghee. Add in the shallots, cook for a minute or two. Add in the celeriac and fennel, cook to soften~about 10 minutes~ stirring once in a while.
Add in the garlic and fresh thyme twigs. Give a good stir. Add 3 cups of broth and salt, simmer until the veggies are soft.
Remove the thyme twigs. Carefully pour, or ladle the soup into a blender. Blend on high until silk and creamy, adding additional broth if needed to create desired texture. I used 4 cups, but it will depend on the size of your fennel and celeriac. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Pour into soup bowls. Add crispy potatoes and drizzle with melted ghee or olive oil.