I know Spring is coming because the crocuses have bloomed and the daffodils are now showing their beautiful yellow colors. Unfortunately we will have to wait a little longer for the spring crops to show up at the local farmers markets and co-ops. In the mean time why not try a vegetable you never cooked before. Celery root, grown locally and found at the market during the winter months, needs to be peeled to get to its beautiful creamy white flesh. The texture resembles that of a turnip and taste like a blend between celery and parsley. This Celery Root (Celeriac) Bisque is perfect with some crusty bread and a glass of wine.
Celery Root (Celeriac) Bisque
by Penny Rich
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup shallots, chopped
2 pounds celery roots (celeriac), peeled, woody parts trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large potato, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
4-5 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 cup half and half
Celery leaves for garnish
Home made croutons for garnish*
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add celery and cook 3 minutes until soft. Add shallots and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the celery root cubes, potato, broth and thyme. Let the mixture come to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Remove from heat and with a stick blender, puree until smooth. Stir in half and half and return to heat just warming through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls garnish with celery leaves. Serve with homemade croutons.
*Croutons – Cut day old bread into bite size cubes. Toss in a bowl with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh rosemary. Place on a foil lined baking sheet that has been prepared with cooking spray. Toast in a 400F oven for 12-14 minutes.