Sunday, October 21, 2012

Celery Root and Apple Soup

I have a new farmers' market resolution.  I want to pick up one new ingredient that we have never cooked with each week and figure out how to cook it.  Last weekend my new ingredient was celery root.  When I picked up the celery root I had grand ideas of soup or puree.  I feel like celery root puree is everywhere in NYC restaurants.  I didn't realize when I picked up the celery root just how much it would taste and smell like celery.  For some reason I expected it to be sweeter and less celery-flavored.  Had I known that celery root tasted like celery I probably would have picked up a different vegetable given that Alex isn't exactly a fan of celery.   And after prepping this soup I am not sure that Alex will ever voluntarily cook with celery root again - it is kind of a beast to peel and chop up.  Oops.  This weekend I picked up sunchokes (aka Jerusalem artichokes) so that will be our next experiment.

When everything was said and done, this was not our favorite soup ever.  I... liked it.  I thought that when you got a spoonful with the bacon it was pretty tasty.  Bites without bacon were less so.  Without the bacon I felt like the soup lacked depth of flavor.  Alex was on the fence.  Actually, saying that he was on the fence is sugar coating it a little.  Without the bacon he thought the soup had the texture and flavor of baby food.  Once I realized how much the celery root smelled like celery I knew I was fighting a losing battle.  Expecting Alex to love a soup with celery root as the main component was a bit optimistic on my part.  Oh well. Better luck next time.

Recipe after the jump!

Celery Root and Apple Soup
Adapted from Bon Appetit
September 2007

1/4 cup (4 tbsp) unsalted butter
4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled celery root
3 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled cored Granny Smith apples
1 medium yellow onion, chopped 
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
3 thick strips smokey bacon, cut into lardons
3 tbsp chopped chives
Melt butter in Le Creuset (or other heavy pot) over medium heat.  Add canola oil to melted butter.  Add celery root, apples, and onion. Cook until apples and some of celery root are translucent (do not brown), stirring often, about 15 minutes. Add 4 cups chicken stock.  Cover and bring to simmer.  Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer covered until celery root and apples are soft, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Puree soup with an immersion blender until smooth.  If the soup is too thick, add a little water to thin it out to your desired consistency.  Season to taste with s&p. 

Meanwhile, fry bacon in a cast iron pan over medium heat until most of the fat is rendered (and the bacon is crispy), about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon.  Set aside.

Divide soup among bowls.  Sprinkle bacon and chives over each bowl.  Serve with a simple salad and crusty bread.

No comments:

Post a Comment