29 January 2009

my new favourite vegetable

"What's with the alien embryo on the counter?"

I looked up from cooking onions in confusion. "What do you mean?"

Then I glanced over at the bulbous, gnarled sphere sitting to my left and understood what he was referring to. "Oh, you mean the best winter vegetable ever?"

"What is that?"

" a celery root. You ate it last week and loved it, remember?"

"Well I never knew it looked that."

"It doesn't matter what it looks like; it tastes amazing!"

Celery root is, first and foremost, cheap. Secondly, when cooked properly, it tastes creamy and delicious— like the combination of potato and celery. You can cook it a lot of ways, basically any way that you would cook a potato. Last week I steamed big cubes of it then tossed it in olive oil, lemon juice and zest, fresh parsley, salt and pepper. This week I threw some into a creamy winter soup.

Start by buying one of these:

image courtesy of

Then make the base of your cream soup in the way you like. I make a roux in one pot while carmelizing onions and red peppers in a pan with some herbs and spices. At the same time, I steam the chopped-up celery root.

Once I turn the roux into a bechamel sauce, I keep adding milk until it becomes the base of the soup. Once its simmering, I pour in the onion/pepper/spice mixture and let the flavours blend. When the celery root is steamed (15 minutes-ish), I add it to the soup. I let the whole thing simmer for about 20 minutes, and then put it in a blender to smooth it out.

I garnish it with toasted walnuts and fresh grated parmesan. It's pretty awesome. Here's pic of the finished soup which I wanted to share, in spite of Brian's counsel not to ("It doesn't look exactly appetizing, more nauseating"). Basically, it's not the best photo ever, but you get the point.

Anyways, if you like cooking and want to try something outside of your vegetable comfort zone, give celery root a whirl.

1 comment:

Erin said...

Soup looks great...I may try making it one of these days. I've done mashed celery root with cheese - so easy and less starchy than mashed potatoes!

But yes...they are not so appealing when you see them raw. :)