Sunday, June 10, 2007

Weekend Herb Blogging #86

Ulrike from Küchenlatein is this weeks host of Weekend Herb Blogging and I thought I might take a look at a rather "distinctive" looking vegetable...


Celeriac (also known as Celery Root, Knob Celery and Turnip-rooted Celery) is a root vegetable and a member of the celery family. It's recognisable by its knobbly bulbous base that is usually crowned by deep green celery-type stalks.

celeriac ©

Nutritionally, Celeriac contains Vitamins C and B6, Folate, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid and Riboflavin along with Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Sodium and Zinc. It's also high in dietary fibre.

Its appearance probably puts it in the "too hard" basket and accounts for its less than popular status. It's a shame though as the minor effort needed to prepare celeriac is more than adequately compensated by it's taste.

celeriac half ©

To prepare the celeriac, make sure you have a bowl of acidulated water to stop the cut celeriac from turning brown - then just cut away the hard outer skin, I find a vegetable knife is the best tool for this.

When it comes to recipes for celeriac it's fairly hard to go past the classic Celeriac Remoulade, which is basically grated or matchstick-sized slivers of raw Celeriac tossed in a grainy mustard mayonnaise. However, since the weather is a touch on the cool side I decided to make a silky smooth Celeriac Soup instead!

celeriac soup ©

Celeriac Soup
[Serves 2]

1 celeriac, cleaned and cut into small dice
1 small leek, quartered and diced
fresh chicken stock
salt and freshly ground white pepper
milk or cream

Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan over a low heat - add the diced leek and gently let this soften but not colour. It's important to keep stirring to make sure the leek doesn't colour and it cooks evenly.

Once it's soft and translucent add the diced celeriac - keep stirring to mix it with the leek and let it cook for a couple of minutes before adding the stock (or water if you prefer). Add just enough stock to cover the celeriac and let it simmer, uncovered, until the celeriac is very soft.

Place the hot mixture into a blender and process until smooth - for an ultra smooth result you can then push the soup through a strainer. Pour this out into a clean saucepan and add enough milk to bring it to a soup consistency. You could use cream for a richer result.

Taste and season with salt and freshly ground white pepper - place the soup back on a low heat and slowly bring it back to serving temperature.

Serve at once.

celeriac soup ©

I've kept this soup very simple for a good reason - because I wanted to savour the subtle taste of celeriac and really enjoy its unique texture. Made this way it's like drinking silk - it just slips over your tongue.


  1. AnonymousJune 10, 2007

    I grew up with celeriac, a must in every soup and stew in Northern Germany. Thanks for sharing the soup recipe for WHB!

  2. Sounds delicious. I just love the close-up photos. This is something I haven't cooked with, but I've been wanting to try it. I love celery, so if the flavor is even remotely the same I'm guessing I'd love it.

  3. AnonymousJune 10, 2007

    i'm loving thise mugs! they are just beautiful. celariac is delicious, i bet this soup really brings that out, yum!

  4. AnonymousJune 10, 2007

    The mysterious celeriac! I've always seen it and wanted to try it but I'm a bit hesitant as I've never actually tasted it! What would you say it tastes like?

  5. I love celery root or celeriac. Until now I've always cooked it in olive oil (
    ,but your soup with leek and milk sounds delicious. I put it on my list.

  6. Beautiful, beautiful mugs haalo.

  7. Haalo, you won me over when you said that the texture was like silk. I've never cooked with celeraic. It looks so scary, that I never had the courage to buy it. But this sounds like a delicate recipe that I would enjoy, esp. with the current season. I enjoy making soup a lot these days. Thank you!

  8. Thanks Ulrike!

    Thanks Kalyn - if you love celery you will adore celeriac! You don't even have to cook it, just grate it raw into salads.

    Thanks Aria - I've been itching to make something I could use these cups for, they are just too cute!

    Hi Ellie - it's very similiar to celery but I would say it's more refined, more delicate in flavour. Try adding some to mashed potatoes if you're a little unsure.

    Thanks Burcu - I hope you enjoy this soup!

    Thanks Lucy!

    Thanks Nora - do take the plunge with celeriac, it is worth it!

  9. I'm the polar opposite to Kalyn on this one, I'm afraid I hate celeriac for exactly the reason that I hate celery. The only time I've ever enjoyed it was in a dauphinoise, which seemed to mask the flavour sufficiently. But however much I hate celeriac, I can't shy away from the fact that you make it look scarily good in your photo. Damn, Haalo! ;-)

  10. Thanks Trig - maybe I should get a job with the Celeriac Marketing Board?


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