Celery Root Soup with Green Apple and Browned Butter
Since I've been grocery shopping and menu making a bit off the cuff these past couple of months I ended up purchasing celery root. I've never used celery root before but it as local and Organic so I grabbed it. Then, I set about making soup with it. I really had no clue what I was doing but it turned out really yummy! This soup is hearty, Vegetarian, light, flavorful, and easy. It was fun using a new ingredient.
1 large celery root, cut the outside off with a sharp paring knife, cut into small cubes (be sure to get all the peel off, even out of the little corners and cracks)
2 large shallots, sliced
1 large leek, trimmed, washed well, diced (use only the white part)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 quart low sodium veggie broth
1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream
1/2 green apple, julienned
1 celery rib, thinly sliced on the bias
1 sprig rosemary, finely minced (optional)
celery heart leaves from the inside of the stalk, lightly chopped
1/2 stick unsalted butter, sliced into thin pieces
extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot heat a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Saute the leeks and shallots until they are softened, about 5-7 minutes. Toss in the cubed celery root and the garlic and saute for an additional 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer on low heat until the celery root is cooked through and can be pierced easily with a sharp knife, about 30-40 minutes.
While the celery root is cooking, prepare your toppings.
Once the celery root is cooked through. Turn off the heat and gently stir in the milk. Carefully transfer the soup, in batches if necessary, to a blender. Place the top on the blender but leave the clear plastic plug open. Cover the opening with a thick, folded dishcloth. You do this to let the steam escape, and so you don't burn yourself. Lightly hold down the thick towel. Blend the soup until smooth and creamy. Transfer the soup back to the pot but keep the heat really low while you prepare your browned butter.
In a small saute pan, melt your butter over medium heat. Gently whisk the butter as it melts. It will foam up, then the foam will disappear. Keep whisking and watch carefully. When you start to see small golden brown flecks form, and the butter starts to smell a little nutty, remove from heat. It will continue to brown if left in a hot pan so be sure to transfer it to a small glass bowl once it's really golden and fragrant.
Now you're ready to serve your soup. Ladle the soup into bowls, and top with a bit of each: apple, celery rib, celery leaves and a tiny pinch of rosemary. Then, spoon a bit of browned butter over the whole dish. Serve immediately.