Celery Root and Caramelized Pear Soup

butterfly Serves: 6

Written By Eydie Desser


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Have you ever tried celery root (celeriac)?  You can find these ugly duckling looking round gnarly bulbs in the grocery store vegetable section.  I was curious to see what I could make with it.  I gave it a taste and it is surprisingly sweet–not celery tasting at all.  Inspired by a recipe by Chef Alfred Poratle, we Garden of Eydie-it, tweaked it a bit and made this warming soup, sure to turn you into a celery root fan! This is an elegant, party worthy soup. By the way, celeriac is a good source of vitamins C & K, supporting heart and bone health.


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 tablespoon) 
  • 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, cut in half, cored and cut into medium dice (about 1 cup).  Reserve pear peel. 
  • 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 
  • prepared diced pears (from above) 
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


Make the Soup:
  1. Warm a large, heavy bottomed 5 or 6-quart pot over medium-heat until hot, about 2 minutes. Add onions, celery and leeks, and dry 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 pear 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 purée, adding in some of the liquid until the mixture is thick and smooth.  Transfer the purée 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, 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:

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

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