A fine soup for a winter’s lunch, accompanied by a salad, or to serve as the starter of a larger meal.
1 large celeriac (celery root)
1 quart (1 liter) homemade chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 quart (1 liter) water
1 tsp. sea salt or table salt
1 tbsp. crème fraîche or heavy cream
freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)
fresh herbs for garnish: cilantro, dill, basil or a combination
Cut the celeriac bulb in half, then in quarters, and remove the rind. Chop into pieces about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick.
Bring the broth and water to a boil. Add the celeriac pieces and the sea salt. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the celeriac is very tender, about 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for a bit. Blend the soup, using a pulse blender or counter-top blender. Then pass the soup through a sieve into a clean pot in order to filter out any fibrous bits that remain after blending.
The soup may be rather thick at this point. Add more water as necessary to reach the desired consistency. I generally aim for the consistency of heavy cream — thick, but not too thick to run off a spoon in a stream.
Place the soup back on the stove over low heat. Stir in the cream, grind in some black pepper and taste. Add more cream, salt or pepper as necessary.
At this point I generally add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to give a little zing to the soup, but this is a matter of taste. If you add some, taste again and adjust the seasonings.
The soup is now ready and may be served immediately or refrigerated for serving later. Serves 6-8.