Celeriac, or celery root, is a vegetable belong to the celery family. It's not a very attractive root vegetable but its beauty lies on the inside. The leafy stalk is not commonly used, but the root itself has many wonderful culinary uses. Some people think it has a taste similar to a combination of celery and parsley. That may be so, but I find it to have a nice earthy, nutty tone with a subtle sweetness.
The texture and consistency derived from celeriac is reminiscent of a potato. You know what that means? It makes an amazingly creamy and hearty soup among many other wonderful things. That's awesome news considering 1 cup only has 42 calories, zero fat grams, 2 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fiber. It is a great source of potassium, iron, magnesium, B6, Vitamin C, and calcium.
As an athlete, I was excited to learn that consuming celery root is a wise choice because it provides energy to our muscles and tissues from its riboflavin and healthy carbohydrates. Also, being high in phosphorus and potassium, celery root is beneficial to our lymphatic, nervous, and urinary systems.
Celery root can be found all year long but its prime season is in the cooler months of fall, winter, and spring. When shopping for these little guys, sometimes you will find them with their bright green leafy stalks still attached. If the greens are bright and vibrant looking, grab those ones as they are incredibly fresh. The fresher they are, the more tender they are which makes them easier to peel. You have probably noticed their outer skin is quite firm and bumpy. Remember, you will remove the green leafy stalks before cooking with these, as well as the outer brown hairy-like skin. Peel that off!!!
If you have never tried celery root, I hope you will give it a try. Look for the beauty within, because no joke, it is there! I don't want you to miss out on this highly overlooked and underrated root vegetable. It's affordable, healthy, satisfying, and undeniably delicious!
To start you off with your new celery root adventure, here is a simple but tasty soup recipe. It's loaded with a nice variety of root vegetables along with some complementary herbs. Something I love to do as a garnish is slice some thin rounds from the celery root and set them aside while you prep the soup. Once the soup is cooking, take your reserved slices of celery root and toss them with some melted coconut oil, sea salt, and pepper. Roast them in the oven and you will have a delicious garnish for your soup. This soup is thicker as far as consistency goes. That's one of the many things I love about it. But if you prefer a thinner consistency, you can do one of two things. Either decrease the amount of vegetables you are using, or add more water or stock. The choice is yours and probably depends more on how much soup you want to make. So let's do this!
1 lb celery root, skin removed, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 leeks, cut & remove dark green end leaves, slice the rest into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large parsnip (1 cup), peeled & sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 large fennel bulb (1 cup), stalks removed, coarsely chopped, reserve fronds for garnish
1 garlic clove, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp fresh thyme
4 cups filtered water
3 cups chicken stock (vegetable stock or all water for vegan)
2 Tbs coconut oil
sea salt, to taste
fresh ground pepper, to taste
roasted celery root chips (So yummy! Reserve some thin slices of celery root if you want to try these)
1. In a large pot, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 5 minutes more.
2. Next add the celery root, parsnip, fennel, bay leaves, thyme, water, and stock. Stir well, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, or until the root vegetables are fork tender.
3. If you plan on trying the celery root chips, when you prep the celery root, slice off a few thin rounds off of the end of the root. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Coat the celery root chips in some coconut oil, sea salt, and pepper. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, turning halfway through.
4. Once the soup is ready, remove the bay leaves then season with sea salt & pepper. Transfer the soup in batches into your blender and blend until smooth. You can also use an immersion blender but the consistency may not be as smooth. This is also the perfect time to add more water or stock if you want a thinner consistency.
5. Pour the soup into bowls and garnish with some fennel fronds, fresh thyme, celery root chips, and roasted pepitas. Serve immediately. Makes 6-8 servings.