Celery Root and Caramelized Pear Soup

butterfly Serves: 5

Written By Eydie Desser


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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 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • 2-½ cups (about 12-ounces) diced celery root (peeled, then diced to ½-inch pieces)
  • ½ cup peeled and chopped Idaho potato 
  • 2-3 Bosc Pears, peeled, sliced in half, 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 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
For the Caramelized Pears:
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 tablespoons 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Slowly stir in any remaining stock until the soup attains a thick, creamy consistency.  You should have about 6 cups of soup.
  5. Taste, and add lemon juice to brighten the flavors, adding more white pepper to taste.  Set aside, and cover to keep warm.
Make the Caramelized Pears:

While the soup is simmering

  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 into six warmed soup bowls and place a spoonful of caramelized pear in the center of each dish.
  2. Drizzle balsamic sauce over the soup.

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