Dry January is the friend of creativity and the enemy of my social life. Lately, since I stopped drinking for the month of January, I’ve read more books, woken up earlier and less groggy, and become a more productive person. I’m cooking more, and I’ve lost my recipe writing block it seems. But just when dry January seems like it’s smooth sailing, life throws you a curveball. A friend’s birthday party can tempt you to break your streak, or simply reading the word “wine” in an article can make me physically salivate. These are the difficult moments, and these are the times I focus all my energy on recipe writing, which doesn’t come without its own pitfalls. (Hello, cookies). I’m throwing myself headlong into my 52 week challenge to try a new food every week in 2020, and this week was a difficult one.
I was dreading week two, and I felt like I was coming up short on new foods. I’d been waffling between ingredients like carob and labneh. How does someone suss out labneh if even whole foods doesn’t carry it? And is it too extra if I make labneh myself? What even is labneh!? I was hitting a wall and procrastinating. All that was left to do was go to the grocery without a list and browse the aisles for something new. Immediately I saw three new things. Celery root, watermelon radish, and turnips. Then there was matzo and unidentifiable produce. Relieved, I left with celery root, googling soup recipes in the store so I had everything I needed.
This celery root soup recipe is one from David Lebovitz. It was lovely, even though celery is not my favorite veg. It has a very light celery flavor, but it tastes more like a leek and potato soup without the cream. I love a pureed soup, and this one was perfect with a little hunk of baguette and topped with some creme fraiche and chili powder. How great would this be topped with some toasty garlicky breadcrumbs, too? It’s only a handful of ingredients, so I encourage you to give it a try! See the full recipe below.
This recipe is from David Lebovitz. It’s simple and delicious!
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced
- sea salt
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with the back of your knife
- 2 small celery roots (about 3-pounds), peeled and cubed in one inch pieces
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 to 1½ teaspoons black or white pepper
- scant ⅛ teaspoon chili powder, plus some for garnishing
- Creme fraiche or greek yogurt for garnishing
- In a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium high heat, add the oil and butter. Once the butter is melted, add the leeks and cook for five minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook another minute or so and add a few pinches of salt. Add the celery roots and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then cover with the lid slightly ajar and lower to a strong simmer for 40-45 minutes until the celery root is fork tender.
- Add the black pepper and chili powder and stir. Let the soup cool slightly. Using a blender with the vent open and lightly covered with a towel to allow steam, blend the soup in two batches until pureed. If the soup is too thick, add more water or chicken stock until the texture is as desired. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a sprinkle of chili powder and a dollop of creme fraiche. Serve hot.