My CSA or community supported agriculture box of produce from Eatwell Farms challenges me with every delivery this season. Bok choy? Cabbage? Celery root? Sure I have a recipe or two for each of those, but week after week and I get bored and need to find something new. As much as I love celery root salad and mash I think I've discovered a recipe I like even better, Chestnut and Celery Root Soup. It would be perfect to serve on Christmas or on New Year's Eve.
This is the epitome of a shortcut recipe with few ingredients and a reliance on a couple of convenience items namely roasted, peeled and vacuum packed chestnuts I find at Trader Joe's and canned chicken broth. I've mentioned it before, but when I don't have homemade chicken broth, I find Swanson's to be the next best thing. The prep for this soup takes more time than the cooking and it's just a matter of peeling, slicing and dicing onions, celery root and an apple pear.
Chestnut and Celery Root Soup is really very elegant and rich despite the fact that it has no cream in it. I took my inspiration from a Daniel Boulud recipe I found on Dorie Greenspan's blog, In the Kitchen and on the Road with Dorie Greenspan. That recipe is much more of a chef recipe than mine, but trust me, mine is delicious! It has lots of depth and a nice balance of sweetness and earthy flavors.
Chestnut and Celery Root Soup
Makes 4 servings
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon oil
1 small onion, peeled and sliced thinly
1 apple pear (you could use an apple or a pear if you prefer), peeled and diced
1 celery root, peeled and diced
1 14.5 ounce can chicken broth or homemade
1/2 cup cooked and peeled chestnuts
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Cream or sour cream, optional for garnish
Heat the butter and oil in a saucepan. When the butter melts, add the onion. Cook gently for 5 minutes or until soft, then ad the pear and celery root and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, then fill the can with water and add that as well. Simmer the soup for 10 minutes or until the celery root is very tender.
Add the chestnuts to the soup and puree in the blender in batches until creamy. Season with salt and add a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg. Serve with a swirl of sour cream or cream and a few bits of chestnut if desired.