Creamy Celeriac Soup with Pancetta & Toasted Walnuts
Poor celeriac (also known as celery root)–it’s one of the most unattractive of all the vegetables that we grow here at Tumbleweed Farm. And heck, it’s probably the most unattractive vegetable taking up room at the winter farmers market or grocery store shelves in your area. But here’s the thing, celeriac is one of the most flavorful winter vegetables. It is slightly nutty with a mild sweetness and a hint of delicate celery flavor. Once you peel the gnarly looking skin it’s beautiful flesh (which is similar in appearance to a turnip) will entice you to get cracking in the kitchen. This soup is a great way to celebrate this often underrated root vegetable. Creamy, sweet, savory and just the right amount of saltiness thanks to the pancetta this is the kind of winter soup that makes cozying up inside on a cold stormy night perfectly acceptable. Pair with some crusty bread, a glass of red wine and your favorite dinner companion and dig in.
Cheers from Tumbleweed Farm
creamy celeriac soup with pancetta & toasted walnuts
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Serves: 4
- 2 teaspoons olive oil + addition for serving
- 4 ounces sliced pancetta (or thick cut bacon)
- 1 tablespoon ghee (or butter)
- 1 medium sized yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 large celeriac (or 2 smaller ones) cut into chunks (about 2 lbs)
- 4 cups low sodium chicken stock + additional to thin the soup
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (you can substitute with 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk for a dairy free version)
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Heat the oil in a large heavy bottom pan over medium high heat and add the chopped pancetta. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side until crisp. Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Melt the ghee in the same pot and add the chopped onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf and celeriac chunks. Cook for about 2 minutes longer. Pour in the stock and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables are tender. About 25 minutes. Fish out the bay leaf, stir in the heavy cream, and then transfer the soup to a high speed blender and whirl away on high until completely smooth and creamy. Depending on the size of your blender you may need to do this in batches. Alternately, you can use an immersion blender but the soup wont be as smooth and creamy. Return the soup to the pot and keep on low. Give it a taste test and season it with addition salt and pepper if needed. If the soup seems too thick add a touch more stock or water.
- Meanwhile heat a small dry skillet over medium high heat. Add the walnuts and cook until lightly toasted on all sides. About 5 minutes. Shake the pan often to ensure the nuts cook evenly. Remove from the pan and when cool enough to handle, roughly chop the nuts.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and top each portion with the cooked pancetta, walnuts and parsley. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Notes*Use this recipe as a guide *Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary