Rich, creamy celery root soup drizzled with herbed olive oil. The perfect starter for your next dinner party.
The first time I served celery root soup many years ago, I was met with great skepticism. Come to think of it, every time I’ve made it I’ve been met with furrowed brows and wrinkled noses. Celery? Soup? Not a lot of takers. But with a little coaxing, my guests gave it a whirl and guess what? Those brows relaxed and the spoons dug deep. This stuff is goooood.
When I’m organizing a get together all good sense goes out the window. I plan a menu packed full of dishes that I’ve never made before but have been dying to try. I don’t recommend this strategy if party planning already has you popping Xanax, but for me it’s all part of the fun. When I put celery root soup shooters on a Christmas party menu years ago I knew it wasn’t likely to fly off the table like pigs in the blanket, a perennial crowd pleaser. But I believed in this soup.
And you know what? It was the hit of the night. Every last drop was slurped up and the biggest fans? Those strapping, red meat-eating buddies of my husband. They snuck into the kitchen, refilled their cups and promised to name their children after me. Okay, maybe not the last part, but they did dig the soup.
So celery root soup is now in the regular rotation and I love to serve it as a first course for Christmas dinner. It’s creamy and flavorful and can be garnished with a myriad of toppings: crispy bacon bits, chopped apples and creme fraiche, crunchy croutons or drizzled with herbed olive oil. I especially love the vibrant green of the herbed olive oil for Christmas dinner. It’s festive and bright and makes for a gorgeous presentation.
So to quote everyone’s favorite Swedish supergroup Abba, ‘take a chance on me’ and make this soup for your holiday dinner first course. I’m ready to see a whole new generation of Cathy’s in 2016.
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large white onion chopped
- 2 medium cloves garlic minced
- 5-6 stalks celery chopped
- 3 1/2 pounds celery root peeled and chopped
- 4-5 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Salt and white pepper
- Herbed Olive Oil
- 1 cup good extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup chives chopped
- 1/3 cup Italian parsely chopped
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Soup: Heat butter and oil over medium heat in a dutch oven or large heavy bottomed pot.
Add onion and saute until translucent, 4-5 minutes.
Add garlic and saute 2 minutes.
Add celery and celery root and cook another 2-3 minutes.
Add 4 cups chicken stock, stir well to combine.
Season well with salt and white pepper.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until celery root is softened, about 30 minutes.
Puree until smooth with an immersion blender or in a blender. Add additional stock if needed to thin.
Stir in cream and heat until warmed through.
Herbed Olive Oil: Finely mince herbs in a food processor or mini prep.
Add olive oil, salt and pepper and blend well.
To serve: Drizzle soup with herbed oil.
Extra herbed oil can be stored in the refrigerator for another use.