Celery Root and Kale Soup

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Celery root (aka celeriac) is one odd duck. If you can get past its looks to give it a try, it happens to be very low in starch and tastes a little like a cross between celery and parsley.

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I like it sliced very thin with just a drizzle of olive oil. It’s also very good when cooked until soft and then mashed or puréed.

Maybe you grow it, but if you belong to a CSA or if you frequent farmers’ markets in the late fall and winter, it’s pretty likely that you’ve seen celery root. In this recipe, celery root combines with other hearty vegetables and wild rice to create a healthy soup that’s perfect for the season.

Recipe for Celery Root Soup with Kale and Wild Rice
adapted from The Village TeaRoom, Restaurant and Bake Shop (New Paltz, N.Y.)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 large leeks, white part only, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 lb. celery root, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1 celery rib, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Leaves from 1 large sprig of thyme
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 6 cups vegetable, chicken, or turkey stock (or part stock and part water)
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half, preferably organic
  • 1 bunch kale, washed, ribs removed and sliced in ribbons
  • Additional sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cover wild rice with plenty of water, bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes or until tender. (Alternatively, you can cook the rice right in the soup, but you will need to increase the simmering time to 45 minutes to 1 hour for the rice to cook fully).
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a soup pot. Add the vegetables, parsley, bay leaf, thyme, parsley and 1 tsp. salt.
  3. Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, then add the stock and the kale.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the half-and-half and simmer until vegetables are tender.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  6. Before serving, remove the bay leaf and add kale and drained wild rice. Heat through.
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— Winnie Abramson writes the organic gardening and food blog Healthy Green Kitchen

Photo credit: Winnie Abramson

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