Celeriac, also known as celery root, is a gentle way to welcome fall without going overboard with pumpkin-spiced everything. Its subtle celery flavor complements the tangy green apple and walnuts, which puree into a creamy but creamless soup ideal for the cooler weather. Cozy up on the couch with a good book and a blanket and enjoy this warm bowl of comfort in your lap. (If you’re curious, my choices were “Old Man and the Sea” and my mother’s homemade “Fall Leaves” quilt.)
Save the leaves from a standard bunch of celery for garnish if you find celery root with stems and leaves intact. Is there no thyme? Fresh chives or parsley, as well as sage, work well.
Celeriac and Green Apple Soup with Toasted Walnuts
Serves 6 to 8 people
three tbsp olive oil
1 large chopped yellow onion
12 pound celery root, skin removed and chopped (approximately 3 roots)
1 peeled and chopped green apple
2 chopped garlic cloves
14 cup vermouth (or sherry)
6 cups vegetable stock, seasoning
divided 34 cup chopped walnuts
seasoned with salt and pepper
1 teaspoon walnut (or olive) oil
14 cup celery leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon thyme, fresh
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Sauté the celery root, apple, and garlic for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the apples soften and begin to caramelize.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, heat the walnut oil. Stir in the remaining 12 cup chopped walnuts for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they start to lightly toast. Cook for 1 minute more after adding the chopped celery leaves and thyme, then remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish the hot soup with the toasted walnut mixture.