Happy New Year!! It is a bitterly cold (to me!) day here in Florida and a warm soup brimming with puréed vegetables sounds wonderful!! I developed this over the holidays but it absolutely does not need to be in the slightest bit fancy….it would actually be perfect for a Super Bowl party served in shot glasses with a strip of crispy black pepper bacon as a garnish over the top of the glass. Celery root – also known as celeriac – is an often underused, gnarly-looking root vegetable that has a surprisingly low starch content as compared to other root vegetables and a low calorie count as well with only 66 calories per cup. With its delicate celery and hint of parsley flavor, it is delicious when paired with potatoes as in this soup and can be cooked in a variety of ways – roasted, mashed, braised, etc. It’s just a little (well, a lot) on the ugly side until you peel it and find the creamy white interior.
The inspiration for the Caramelized Black Pepper Bacon comes from my friend Jen Sabo who has GOT to be one of the hardest working moms on this planet. And she finds time to cook fabulous things!! You go, girl….we all appreciate and love you!
Wishing everyone health, happiness, and inspiration in 2014. Please consider adding Kitchen Serendipity to your “likes” on Facebook to see what is coming for the new year – thank you!!
Creamy Celery Root Soup with Black Pepper Bacon Crumbles
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 stalks celery with some celery leaves, chopped
- 1 small to medium celery root, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups from a 1 pound celery root)
- 1 large or two smaller leeks, rinsed well and chopped (about 1½ cups)
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped (about 3 cups)
- 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped (2 large)
- 2-3 sprigs parsley
- 1 dried bay leaf
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- ¾ cup heavy cream, gently heated in a small saucepan
- 1 teaspoon Hungarian hot paprika (or as much as you want!)
- Kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper
- Caramelized Black Pepper Bacon, crumbled (see below)
- Add the butter and extra-virgin olive oil to a large pot or Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, celery, and leeks. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until vegetables are softened, about 2 minutes.
- Add the celery root and potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 2-3 minutes and season with a little more salt and pepper.
- Add the wine and let it almost evaporate, about 5 minutes.
- Pour in the chicken broth, parsley, and bay leaf. Partially cover and let simmer for 15-17 minutes until potatoes and celery root are tender.
- Remove the bay leaf and the parsley sprigs and add the heavy cream. Blend using an immersion blender or in a couple of batches in a standard blender.
- Divide among 10 glasses for appetizer servings and garnish with the bacon crumbles and a sprinkling of Hungarian hot paprika.
Makes approximately 5½ cups or 10 appetizer servings (makes 4-6 larger soup portions)
Caramelized Black Pepper Bacon
- ½ pound market or thick slice bacon – I used pepper bacon (16 slices)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- coarse ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and place a wire rack over the pan.
- combine the brown sugar with the maple syrup and dot the mixture over each bacon slice. Place bacon slices on the wire rack and sprinkle liberally with black pepper.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until crisp. Remove from the pan, let cool, and then chop (or cut in half for a shot glass garnish).
© 2014 Kitchen Serendipity | Stacey Siegal