Celery Root Fennel Soup

Creamy and delicious celery root and fennel soup! With butter, garlic, potato, chicken stock, and a touch of cream.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Spring has come early to Northern California—the daffodils are blooming, the trees are beginning to leaf out, and the temp is creeping close to 80. But it’s still officially winter, so would you indulge me by letting me present you with one more winter root vegetable soup?

It’s a smooth and creamy celery root soup, with fennel, garlic, onions, and potatoes. Celery root, like its close relation celery, is one of those under-appreciated vegetables.

I’m guessing it lacks for mass popularity because it can be a bit difficult to peel. It’s nobby all over and you can’t easily skin it with the vegetable peeler.

Like butternut squash, it requires a steady hand and a sharp solid knife to master. But once peeled, celery root can be cooked and mashed, shredded into a slaw, or simmered into a delicious soup like this one.

Celery Root Fennel Soup Recipe

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  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8

The one challenge of this recipe is peeling the celery roots, which with their nobbiness can be difficult. Use a sharp chef's knife to cut off the ends of the root. Then stand the root upright on a cutting board and use downward slices to cut the remaining peel off the the root. (The Kitchn has a great explanation here: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-peel-celery-root-74548). Then cut the roots in half, place the halves cut side down on the cutting board, and thinly slice them.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onions (sliced across the grain)
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium celery roots (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and thinly sliced (See TheKitchn's guide to peeling celery root)
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 7 cups chicken stock
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (less or more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • Fennel fronds for garnish

Method

1 Melt butter in a large (6-8 quart) thick-bottomed pot on medium high heat. Stir in the onions and cook until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and the sliced fennel, lower the heat to medium and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until softened.

2 Add the sliced celery root, sliced potato, 2 bay leaves, stock and salt. Increase heat to high, bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and maintain a simmer, partially covered for another 10 to 12 minutes, until all of the vegetables are soft enough to purée.

3 Either working in batches with a standing blender (do not fill blender bowl more than a third full at a time), or with an immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth. (Note that an immersion blender will take several minutes longer than a standing blender to purée the soup to smoothness.)

4 Stir in cream and black pepper. Adjust salt to taste. Garnish with fennel fronds.

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Celery Root Fennel Soup

5 Comments

  1. pam

    i finally got around to make the 2nd version of “celery soup”

    indeed w/ fennel, the taste is more complex & nourishing
    yet still simple & light enough for summer

    thanks
    (i home made broth from chicken feet )

  2. pam

    Hi, Elise,

    thanks.

    upon reviewing, i just realized that the 1st celery soup is from celery (not celery root).

    celery root & fennel are 2 vegetables i rarely cook (don’ tknow how)

    so thanks for expanding my horizon.

  3. pam

    hi how does this compare with your other celery root soup (no flennel)

    http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/creamy_celery_soup/

    (both look good tho)

    • Elise

      Hi Pam, they’re both great! The one with fennel is a little more sophisticated just because you have the added layer of flavor from the fennel.

  4. Alcea

    I tried for the first time the cellery root fennel soup. It was amazing. Very good and very tasty. Everybody loved it!

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