Have you ever cooked with a celery root or a celeriac before? It resembles the shape of misshapen turnip with beards growing here and there. At first glance to be frank it is not very appealing, particularly when seated next to the rows and rows of beautiful pink perfect red carrots of the season; but since I had heard so much about the delicate celery like flavors of these root vegetables, I could not pass up the chance to pick one up in the farmer's market yesterday.
Celeriac is a root vegetable in celery family. For a long time I thought celeriac is the root bulb of celery but that is not quite the case! The stalks and leaves attached to a celeriac are _not_ actually celery; I was planning to use them up in my soup but a bit of Googling told me that they may not be edible so I skipped them and used regular celery instead. In texture celeriac is simlar to the Mexican Jicama with a dominant celery flavor with a slight bit of sweetness like an apple!
Preparing celery root is very easy. First you chop off the celerish stalks attached to the root and then run the root through running water for a few minutes making sure to remove as much dirt as you can. Then using your knife peel of the outer skin as shown in the image below. You can then chop off the celery root into bite sized pieces. The celeriac is fantastic raw in salads or roasted with a bit of rosemary, salt & pepper or pureed in a soup. For my first attempt I decided to go with a simple but absolutely delicious celery-celeriac soup!
Celeriac is in season for a short duration and its not found that easily in supermarkets either, so if you get a chance to try this root vegetable, definitely go for it, I am sure you will love it!
Recipe: Celery root soup
1 large celery root
3 stalks of celery
salt & pepper
red chili flakes
Prepare the celery root. First chop off the celeri-sh stalks attached to the root and then run the root through running water for a few minutes making sure to remove as much dirt as you can. Then using your knife peel of the outer skin. Then chop the peeled celery root into small cubes.
Prepare the celery and the leek. Chop the celery sticks into small pieces. Chop the leek into small pieces and wash well (dirt gets trapped inside the leek leaves, so cleaning them after chopping is the best way to get rid of the dirt.
Heat 1Tbsp olive oil in a large soup pot. Add leeks and saute for a couple of minutes. Add chopped celery and celery root and saute for a few more minutes.
Add 6C water, enough salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Let the soup come to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer covered for half an hour or until the celery root is tender. Remove from heat. Puree soup using a blender to a thick consistency. Serve warm garnished with some more good quality olive oil, crushed chili flakes and more pepper.