I have a fairly robust obsession with winter squash. Butternut, kabocha, acorn, delicata: you name it, I dig it. At this time of year, it’s hard for me not to infuse anything and everything with these beta-carotene packed, sweet, hearty, and delicious root vegetables (or with sweet potatoes, which are similar). Not surprisingly, most of the soup recipes I turn to right now feature orange-fleshed vegetable friends: my roasted kabocha and pear bisque, for example, or my African yam and peanut stew with kale.
But a person can’t live on winter squash and sweet potatoes alone, and lately I’ve been trying to think outside of the soup box, featuring other root vegetables and bases. This cream of celeriac and fennel soup emerged from that initiative, and it’s a new favorite.
This recipe rests on the interesting contrast of peppery, tangy celery root (which, if you’re not familiar, tastes like celery, though the texture is very different), and sweet fennel. The texture is creamy and smooth. I made this soup for friends recently, garnishing it with cashew cream and a drizzle of chive oil. They absolutely loved it, which was a relief: at first, I wondered if celeriac was too distinctive a flavor to use as the soup base. There was no reason to fear: the soup is a crowd pleaser, worth making for dinner parties or simply for warming yourself up on a cold night.
If you can’t get your hands on a knobby head or two of celery root, then try using rutabaga here instead. The taste will be a little less vibrant, but still really flavorful.
Hope you enjoy it. Have a wonderful Friday, friends — I’ll be back tomorrow to share a special raw holiday cookie recipe!