Celeriac, Leek and Apple Soup

I have been receiving Cooking Light magazine for the past few years. While I read all the recipes each month, I am rarely interested enough to make anything from the magazine. October's issue, however, was full of recipes that caught my eye. Pages of stews and soups now have a dog-eared corner, and last night, I gave one recipe a whirl. Of course, I messed with it a little...added something I thought it needed, and skipped a few steps, because seriously, I was not busting out my blender, two extra bowls, and a sieve to make this soup. It's a one-pot mess and that's the way I like it! We had the soup as part of a light dinner last night and I froze the rest for later on in the fall.

I received my first Celeriac, or Celery Root, from the CSA a few weeks ago. I'd never seen or held one before, and let me tell you, it is one ugly vegetable. Pale green and brown, gnarly and nubby, and just overall unattractive (and if you don't believe me, take a look at the picture on the left). It does, however, give off a pleasant, concentrated celery scent. I have been storing my celeriac in my refrigerator crisper drawer, and they've lasted for over 2 weeks. I've seen soup, remoulade, salad, and gratin recipes that utilize celeriac, and after the soup I just made, I'm hoping I'll get another in my CSA share this week so I can try a new recipe with it!

 The following recipe is an adaptation of the Oct 2009 Cooking Light recipe, Creamy Celeriac Soup. Click here for the original recipe, if you'd like (but mine's better!) As I said earlier, I added an ingredient and removed some of the steps. Plus, I omitted the croutons that Cooking Light suggested and subsequently, that's where most of the calories and fat lurks, so I'd venture to guess that my version's even better for you! This soup is thick, so if you want something a little "soupier", consider adding some more chicken stock.

Recipe: Celeriac, Leek and Apple Soup

You'll need:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups sliced leeks
  • 5 cups (approx. 3 lbs) celeriac, chopped in approx 1 inch cubes
  • 1 large apple, peeled and cored, and coarsely chopped
  • 5 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (or more if you would like it thinner. you can make this decision at the end when you're blending the soup)
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • salt and pepper, to taste

In soup pot, heat olive oil. Add leeks and cook, approx 3 minutes, or until leeks begin to soften. Add celeraic, apple, and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Add the half and half and blend. (The soup will be thick. If you'd like it thinner, add some more broth or water) Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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