Celery root and leeks soup – creamy and aromatic, served with garlic crème fraîche, toasted spices, hazelnuts, and lots of fresh parsley, this soup is a winter favorite.
I find myself making soup all the time these days. Aside from the usual suspect, chicken soup, which is the number one requested soup by the kids, I make mostly creamy soups of all kinds. This celery root and leeks soup, served with garlicky crème fraiche, parsley and toasted hazelnuts is one of my top faves this season. In this cold and wet weather, there’s nothing like a mug of hot soup.
If you haven’t cooked with celery root, you might be in for a nice surprise. Try it in mashed potatoes, by substituting half of the potatoes with celeriac, or make these super delicious oven-roasted celeriac fries for a healthier potato alternative. You can also use it to flavor broths, or eat it raw, in the famous French remoulade salad. It’s fragrant, and its flavor can be described as a cross between mild celery and parsley, with some nutty notes, but its texture is more like that of a boiled potato. I think it begs to be paired with parsley, garlic and toasted nuts, and when serving this soup, it’s important to layer the toppings as suggested – the crunchy spices and toasty hazelnuts, and the fresh parsley, with the cold garlicky crème fraiche go so well with the hot creamy celery root soup.
There’s no additional cream in the soup, so it’s very light , yet creamy and super delish.
If you like this soup, you may also try these recipes:
- 1 celery root about 1 lbs
- 2 leeks
- 3 Tbs butter
- 6 cups of water
- 6 garlic cloves
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 cup crème fraiche
- 2 tsp fenugreek seeds *
- 2 tsp coriander seeds, roughly crushed
- 1 garlic clove
- a handful of toasted hazelnuts
- fresh parsley
Melt the butter, and add the chopped leeks. Sauté for 5 minutes, until the leeks are soft.
Peel the celery root, and chop into small cubes.
Add the cubed celery root, the ground coriander, and the diced garlic cloves to the leeks, and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the water, salt and pepper, the sprigs of thyme, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, or until the celery is very tender.
Pure the soup in a blender until silky smooth.
While the soup is cooking, prepare the toppings:
Mash the garlic clove with salt until you get a smooth paste, and add to the crème fraiche. Add some more salt if needed, and mix well.
In a mortar and pestle, place the fenugreek seeds and whole coriander seeds, and crush coarsely.
Toast the hazelnuts in a low 300 oven for 10 minutes. Roughly chop them, and add to the spices.
Chop about 1/2 cup of fresh parsley.
Serve the soup with a dollop of crème fraiche, sprinkle with the nut and spice mix, and the fresh parsley.
* Buy fenugreek seeds in Indian or Mediterranean stores, or online.