I consider myself an adventurous enough eater, and I have never been picky, but there are two things I won’t eat: raisins and celery. In fact, I have been known to claim an allergy to these foods in my extensive efforts to avoid them. But flipping through the recipes in Man with a Pan: Culinary Adventures of Fathers Who Cook for their Families, I was intrigued by the recipe for Roasted Celery Root, Potato, and Cauliflower Soup with Tarragon from contributor Keith Dixon.
It isn’t the flavor of celery that I hate so much, it’s the texture. Perhaps a different part of the plant would be more acceptable to my discerning palate. I had never seen a celery root, and it took a little extra searching in the produce department to locate. It smells like celery, but fruitier, and it roasts up wonderfully, adding a nice depth of flavor to this soup. Best of all, no strings!
I used a homemade chicken stock and white wine, as well as my favorite kitchen gadget–the immersion blender–to make this perfect winter soup. Enjoy!
For anyone else who may be unfamiliar, that is a celery root.
Roasted Celery Root, Potato, and Cauliflower Soup with Tarragon
Yield: 4 servings
1/2 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
1/2 pound celery root, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
1 head cauliflower, divided into florets
8 garlic cloves, whole and unpeeled
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
4 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
3 3/4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 cup dry white whine or dry vermouth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon (substitute parsley if you don’t have tarragon)
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
2. Place the potatoes, celery root, cauliflower, and garlic cloves on a baking sheet. Add 1/4 cup of the olive oil and toss with your hands to coat all the pieces equally. Season with salt and pepper and slide in the oven. Roast 15 minutes, turn the vegetables, roast 15 minutes more, turn once again, and roast for a final 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Peel the garlic cloves and discard the papery skins. Reserve 2 of the handsomest cauliflower florets and set apart from the remaining roasted vegetables.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sweat until soft and transparent, about 4 minutes. Add the roasted vegetables (but not the 2 reserved cauliflower florets), bay leaves, thyme, chicken stock, and wine or vermouth. Season aggressively with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, drop the heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle.
4. After the soup has finished simmering, discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Pour the soup into a blender and pulse until just pureed (or use an immersion blender). Return to the saucepan and bring to a simmer.
5. To serve, ladle servings of soup into bowls. Slice the 2 reserved cauliflower florets in half. Place half a roasted floret in the center of each bowl of soup. Top with a large pinch of fresh tarragon. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over the soup bowls and serve immediately.