Celery root, or celeriac, is exactly what it sounds like: the root of a variety of celery plant. Its subtle flavor stands out best in simple preparations like this one. This soup will freeze well, too — just add the caramelized apples when you’re ready to serve.
Celery Root Puree with Caramelized Apples
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 leek, white and pale green parts, chopped
2 celery roots (2 lb./1 kg. total), peeled and chopped
3 1/2 cups (28 fl. oz./875 ml.) vegetable broth
For the caramelized apples:
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into tiny cubes
1/4 tsp. brown sugar
2 Tbs. half-and-half
Salt and ground white pepper
In a large, heavy pot, warm the butter over medium-high heat. Add the leek and saute until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the celery roots, stir to coat, and saute for 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the celery root is very tender, 25-30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
While the soup is cooling, make the caramelized apples. In a fry pan, melt the 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat until it foams. Add the apple and saute for 4 minutes. Sprinkle with the brown sugar, stir to combine, and cook until the apples begin to caramelize, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return to the pot over medium heat, add the half-and-half, and return just to a gentle boil. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper. Serve, garnished with the caramelized apples. Serves 4.