Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Celeriac Vichyssoise

There's a chill in the air, which means the time has come for beautiful soup recipes. This recipe is taken directly from The New Basics Cookbook, by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. I make it every year when the weather turns chilly and your bones tell you that winter is around the corner. "This soup is like eating a bowlful of life itself," my sister told me when I sent her the recipe. It is just too good not to share.


4 tbs butter
3 cups diced onions
1 leek, well rinsed and diced
2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
2 lbs. celeriac (celery root) cut into large dice
6 cloves garlic
6 cups homemade or store-bought chicken stock
3 tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp celery seed (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream

Melt the butter in a large soup pot. Add the onion and leek and cook over medium heat until translucent (10 minutes.) Add the potatoes, celery root, and garlic. Stir and cook 5 more minutes. Add the lemon juice, stock, celery seeds (if using), salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook 30 minutes or until the celery root is tender. Allow to cool slightly, off the heat. Puree the mixture in a blender, in batches. I blend until the soup is the consistency of applesauce -- not entirely smooth, but fairly so. Return the puree to the soup pot and add milk and cream. Heat, stirring constantly, until soup is heated through. Serve with a warm, crusty baguette.


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