This celeriac soup recipe is a silky, smooth and creamy winter warmer topped with pecans for some extra crunch. Highlighting the subtle, earthy and nutty undertones, celeriac soup, which is also known as celery root soup is a budget-friendly, dairy-free and flavoursome dish to make. Celery root soup is very comforting on a cold fall or winters day by yourself in front of the fire place but is elegant enough to also serve as a starter or appetizer on a special occasion any time of the year.
Celeriac is an edible root and part of the celery family. This knobbly root vegetable with its brown outer skin might not look very appealing at first sight, but don’t let the appearance of this vegetable fool you. Celeriac, or celery root is particularly tasty with a unique flavour profile and enjoyable texture once cooked making it extremely versatile to use in popular cuisine. It is a typical fall and winter vegetable which can be eaten roasted, cooked, pureed or raw in a salad. Celery root is a great vegetable to make a soup out of as it gives a lovely silken texture when mixed.
Which ingredients to use
- Celeriac: The main ingredient of the soup. Depending on the size of the celery root or celeriac knob you might need more than one. Just make sure that after peeling and cutting away the nubbly bits you remain with the correct amount of chopped and cleaned celeriac as listed in the recipe card below.
- Potato: The starch in the potato thickens the soup and helps to create a velvety texture when mixed.
- Leek: This is a base ingredient to give extra aroma to the soup.
- Garlic and onion: Same as for the leek, it provides the base for making a broth.
- Olive oil: Use either olive oil or any other type of cooking oil (coconut, sunflower, peanut etc) or even unsalted butter to sweat the vegetables. Sautéing vegetables in butter or oil on medium to low heat allows the flavours to intensify and give a much better aroma and flavour to the soup.
- Vegetable stock: I prefer to use vegetable stock over chicken broth. Use either a store-bought vegetable stock, homemade or add water with vegetable stock cubes.
- Herbs and spices: Celeriac soup combines great with basic herbs like bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, marjoram and sage. Use any of those as per your personal preference. I keep this soup mild and only use bay leaves together with a pinch of nutmeg, which in my opinion, pairs amazingly well with the taste of celery root.
- Garnish: I use fresh parsley and chopped pecans. Together they add freshness and a touch of crunch to this silky and earthy-flavoured soup.
How to make celeriac soup
Note: All the exact quantities of the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
This celery root soup comes together in just a few simple steps. To ensure the soup gets the best possible taste it’s important to take your time to chop the vegetable to the right size and to properly sauté the vegetables.
- Chop the celeriac: Trim both ends of the celeriac knob and start peeling the skin with a sharp knife or potato peeler. The skin is very uneven so you’ll probably cut off quite a bit of the flesh. Make sure you end up with only the white inner flesh. Cut into equal sized cubes of around 1 inch (or 2.5 cm) thickness.
- Prepare the other vegetables: Peel and finely dice the onion. Peel and mince the garlic clove. Peel the potato and cut in equal dice size chunks as the celeriac to allow for equal cooking time. Thoroughly wash the leek and finely chop into thin rounds. Use both the lighter green and white parts of the leek.
- Sweat the onion and leek: Use a large saucepan or pot. First sauté the onion and leek for a few minutes in olive oil on medium to low heat until they become translucent. It is important to sweat the vegetables and not to brown them as you’ll want a whitish coloured soup, so keep the heat medium to low.
- Sauté the vegetables: Add the potato, celery root and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until the vegetables start to soften a bit. Again, keep the heat low in order not to brown the vegetables but rather to sweat them so they can best release their delicious aroma.
- Season and simmer: Season with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaves and a pinch of nutmeg. Give the vegetables a good stir. Pour in the vegetable stock (or water with stock cubes) and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover with a lid and leave to simmer for 20 minutes until all the vegetables are tender and soft. Test with a fork if the vegetables are soft. If not, leave to cook for a few more minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves: Once cooked, don’t forget to remove the bay leaves from the soup as they don’t soften nor blend well.
- Blend the soup: After you’ve removed the bay leaves, use either a table top food processor / blender or immersion / stick blender to mix the soup. Keep blending until you get a smooth and velvety texture. Add more liquid if you think the texture of the soup is too thick.
- Season and garnish: Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with fresh parsley and chopped pecans.
How to store
This root soup can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for up to 4 days. After cooking, allow to cool down to room temperature and place in the fridge in a sealed container. This soup can also perfectly be frozen. Leave to cool down and divide into smaller portions in freezable containers and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
This celeriac soup can be served as a light meal by itself for lunch or dinner as it is quite filling. Serve with some bread on the side such as crusty, sourdough or baguette. Garnish with parsley and chopped nuts, either pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts.
Celeriac or celery root soup is also perfect to serve on special occasions or dinner parties as the taste of celeriac is so delicious, yet subtle and delicate. You can make it look even more elegant by adding festive toppings like chopped nuts, garlic croutons, roasted chickpeas, crispy bacon or prosciutto, or just drizzle some parsley oil over it.
More soup recipes for cold days to try
- Cauliflower and chestnut soup
- Roasted chestnut and mushroom soup
- Yellow bell pepper soup with coconut and curry
- Carrot ginger soup
- Butternut squash soup with orange
- Carrot and red lentil soup
Celeriac soup with pecans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion peeled and chopped
- 1½ pounds (700 grams) celeriac / celery root peeled and chopped
- 1 (100 grams or 4 ounces ) leek green and white parts, chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 medium potato peeled and chopped
- 4 cups (or 1 litre) vegetable stock
- 3 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- nutmeg pinch
- fresh parsley chopped
- pecans roughly chopped
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and leek and allow to sweat for 3 minutes until translucent. Make sure that both the onion and leek do not get brown.
- Add the garlic, celeriac and potato to the pan. Gently cook for 3-4 minutes on medium to low heat while stirring frequently.
- Add the bay leaves and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and allow the soup to slowly simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
- Remove the bay leaves and puree the soup until smooth using a stick blender or food processor. Add a bit more water if the consistency of the soup is too thick for your liking. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve garnished with fresh parsley and chopped pecans.
- Celeriac: As this recipe calls for 1½ pounds of celeriac cubes after peeling, depending on the size of the celery root and how much you have to clean off, you might need more than one knob.
- Leek: Make sure to wash the dirt off properly under cold running water as the leaves tend to contain lots of sand. As a substitution for leek you can use an extra onion.
- Garlic: Considering the taste of fresh garlic can be quite strong, 1 clove of garlic should be sufficient for this recipe.
- Garnish: As a substitute for pecans you can use either chopped walnuts or hazelnuts.
- Storing: This soup can be stored in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.