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Silky Leek & Celery Root Soup

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Yields about 24 two-ounce portions.

For the best flavor, make this soup a day in advance.

  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 medium leeks (white and light green parts only), trimmed, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into thin half-moon slices, rinsed thoroughly, and drained
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
  • 1-1/2 lb. celery root (about 1 large)
  • 3/4 cup crème fraîche
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream; more as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh chives

In a 4-quart or larger heavy-based pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the leeks, onion, and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft and lightly golden but not brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to low if you see signs of browning.

Meanwhile, peel the celery root with a sharp knife (expect to slice quite a bit off the exterior as you trim). Halve the peeled celery root lengthwise and cut each half into 1-inch-thick wedges. Cut each wedge crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. You should have about 5 cups.

Add the celery root, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup water to the leeks. Cover and cook until the celery root is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. (Check occasionally; if all the water cooks off and the vegetables start to brown, add another 1/2 cup water.) Add 4-1/2 cups water, bring to a simmer, and continue to cook another 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Purée the soup (with a hand blender, or in small batches in a stand blender) to a very smooth, creamy consistency. Let cool completely and then store in the refrigerator at least overnight or for up to two days.

About an hour before serving, put the crème fraîche in a small bowl and stir in enough of the heavy cream so that the mixture reaches the consistency of yogurt. Leave the cream mixture at room temperature until you are ready to serve the soup. (If the cream is too cold, it will cool the soup.)

Reheat the soup. (If it’s too thick, gradually thin it with as much as 1 cup water.) Taste and add more salt as needed. Ladle the soup into small espresso cups or shot glasses. Top each portion with a small spoonful of crème fraîche (it should float on top of the soup). Finish each cup with a pinch of black pepper and a sprinkle of chives.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on 24 servings; Calories (kcal): 70; Fat (g): 5; Fat Calories (kcal): 45; Saturated Fat (g): 3; Protein (g): 1; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Carbohydrates (g): 4; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0; Sodium (mg): 85; Cholesterol (mg): 15; Fiber (g): 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This was a nice soup to serve with a multi-course meal as it was light yet creamy. I did have to triple puree it to get the creamy consistency I wanted. I warmed the creme fraiche mixture and dotted and swirled it into the soup for a fancier presentation. The creme fraiche mellowed the celery flavor a bit and the soup is very flavorful without any cream added. A nice vegetarian soup. Pairs well with a white burgundy or sauvignion blanc.

This is a wonderful recipe! It has become a family & guest favorite. We serve it in normal soup bowls and offer normal serving sizes - yummy. We normally don't bother with the CF or the cream (unless we have it on hand) a little bit of milk works to make it "creamy". Enjoy.

Really good! I used espresso cups- although the creme kinda melted and spread across the top because of how small the cups were, so I didn't really get to do any fancy design:( Still tasted great! Lots of compliments!

This has proved to be a favourite with many of our guests. A complete surprise to our guests to be served a "Sip of Soup" at last year's Christmas party as suggested in punch glasses. This year I served this soup before a prime rib dinner. A wonderful delicate flavour and not heavy. Ensure your soup bowls are warmed as any soup is more enjoyable when nice and hot.

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