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Celery Root Puree with Caramelized Apple

Sometimes labeled celeriac, celery root is just what it sounds like, the root of a variety of celery plant. Its subtle flavor stands out best in simple preparations like this one. This soup freezes well, without the caramelized apple garnish.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 leek, white and light green portions, chopped
  • 2 celery roots, about 2 lb. (1 kg) total, peeled and chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups (28 fl. oz./875 ml) vegetable broth

For the caramelized apple:

  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into tiny
      cubes
  • 1/4 tsp. dark brown sugar

  • 2 Tbs. half-and-half
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the leek and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the celery roots, stir to coat and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the celery roots are very tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

While the soup is cooling, prepare the caramelized apple: In a fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter until it foams. Add the apple and sauté for 4 minutes. Sprinkle with the brown sugar, stir to combine and cook until the apple begins to caramelize, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return the soup to the pot and set over medium heat. Add the half-and-half and return just to a gentle boil. Turn off the heat and season the soup with salt and white pepper. Ladle into bowls, garnish with the caramelized apple and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2011).