Celery Root and Caramelized Pear Soup

Written by Eydie Desser

Have you ever tried Celery Root (Celeriac)? You usually see these ugly duckling looking round gnarly bulbs in the vegetable section. I was curious to see what I could make with them. They are surprisingly sweet, not celery tasting at all! You’ll definitely become a fan after making this warming, satisfying soup!


For the Soup:

  • 1 cup sliced yellow or white onion
  • ¼ cup sliced celery
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced leek (white and light green parts only)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced (about 1 TB)
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • 2-½ cups (about 12 oz) diced celery root (peeled, then diced to ½” pieces)
  • ½ cup peeled and chopped Idaho Potato 
  • 2-3 Bosc Pears, peeled , cored and cut into medium dice (about 1 cup), and set aside.
    Reserve peeled skin and leftover flesh reserved in a small bowl.
  • 4-½ cups Vegetable stock, or other no-salt vegetable stock
  • Bouquet garni (2 bay leaves, 5 sprigs parsley, 2 sprigs thyme, wrapped together in
    cheesecloth and tied with kitchen string)
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 TB freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste

For the Caramelized Pears:

  • 2 TB honey
  • 1 Rosemary sprig
  • 1 TB balsamic vinegar


Make the Soup:

1- Warm a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-heat until hot, about 2 minutes. Add onions, celery and leeks, and sauté for 2 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and cover the pot for 2 minutes. Remove the cover and continue to cook, stirring from time to time, for about 6 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent, but not browned. Add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable stock, if needed, to prevent vegetables from sticking to the pot. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour in celery root, potatoes, pear skin and leftover flesh scraps, vegetable stock and bouquet garni. Raise the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Season with white pepper, stir, reduce heat, and cover. Cook at a simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

2- Strain the soup through a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl, reserving the solids and liquid separately. Discard the bouquet garni.
Working in batches, place the solids in a blender or food processor and puree, adding some of the liquid until the mixture is thick and smooth. Transfer the puree to a bowl.
Slowly stir in any remaining stock until the soup attains a thick, creamy consistency. You should have about 6 cups of soup.

3- Taste, and add lemon juice to brighten the flavors and add more white pepper to taste. Set aside, and cover, to keep warm.

Make the Caramelized Pears:

1- Pour the honey into a small saucepan and warm it over medium-high heat until it bubbles and turns amber-colored, about 5 minutes.

2- Add the diced pears and rosemary sprig. Cook, tossing and stirring until the pears are slightly softened and richly glazed. Add balsamic vinegar and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.

3- Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the caramelized pears and sauce to a small bowl.
(Discard the rosemary sprig)

To Serve:

1- Ladle the soup in six warmed soup bowls and place a spoonful of the pear in the center of each dish.

2- Drizzle balsamic sauce over the soup.

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