Celery root has to be one of nature’s ugliest vegetable; it’s wrinkly, hairy and dirty, which also makes it kind of painful to peel. But thankfully it more than makes up for its bad looks in the flavor department, and makes all the hassle worthwhile. This ugly vegetable, also known as celeriac, makes fantastic soups but is also great in purees, makes amazing chips (so much better than potatoes) and is also delicious roasted. For anyone not familiar with its flavor, it’s kind of a hybrid of potato and celery.
I have spent the bulk of my life without knowing about their existence, but ever since I found out about them a few years ago, I’ve loved incorporating them into my cooking. So this year when spring came and I started putting seeds in the garden, I decided to try growing a few of these babies. A few months went by, and then came the harvest, which then led to this soup….
I have to give credit to Kevins Cooking for this unique recipe that turned out absolutely fantastic, with of course a couple twists of my own. It’s creamy and rich without being heavy, it’s the perfect amount of salty, it’s crunchy, nutty, smokey and everything you imagine it to be by looking at the pictures. If (like me), you’re avoiding white potatoes, celery root gives you the warmth and comfort that you need in the cooler months of the year, plus a boost in flavor and nutrition. Hope you love it as much as I do 😉
Preheat oven to 400f. Let's get the most painful thing out of the way first: peeling the celery root. Once that's over with, dice into 1 inch cubes. Cut the onion into big chunks and toss in a couple tablespoons of olive oil along with the celeriac. Season wit the garlic powder and some sea salt and lay on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place in oven for about 25 minutes or until fairly tender.
In the meantime, pan fry your bacon slices until nice and crispy, or until fat is rendered. Take the bacon out, cut in tiny chunks and set aside. Keep the pan and the fat for the next step.
In the same pan, add a dash of olive oil and heat to medium high. Throw in the shallot and saute for a couple minutes. Add the garlic and saute for one more minute. Add coconut flour and toss with shallot pieces to coat, cook for one minute.
Add a cup of the veg stock to deglaze the pan and transfer to a soup pot. Add the remaining stock and stir well to avoid any lumps. Add coconut milk (the whole can) and stir. Bring to a boil, return to low and let simmer.
In a large skillet, add the remaining olive oil on high heat. For this part you want to make sure your pan is really hot before adding the brussels. When it's hot enough, throw in the sliced brussels. Season with sea salt and a dash of truffle oil (optional) and saute until caramelized.
At this point your celeriac should be done, and you can do either of two things. Throw in the pot with the broth and coconut milk and use an immersion blender to puree (way easier), or, transfer celery root and broth mixture to a processor or blender and process until smooth (messier). Either way make sure you process until the soup is nice and smooth and not lumps remain. Add more veg stock if you like your soup a bit more runny. Season to taste.
To toast the hazelnuts you can do one of two things: bake or roast in a pan. My oven is pretty strong so I placed them on a small baking sheet @350 for about 10 minutes and they were perfect. In a pan will take about 10 mins as well on medium heat, stirring occasionally. When they're done rub them in a kitchen towel to remove the skins and chop them coarsely.
Serve soup in individual bowls and garnish with bacon pieces, caramelized brussels, toasted hazelnuts, a drizzle of truffle oil (or olive oil) and smoked sea salt.