Thursday, September 26, 2013

Taking a Stab at Apple-Celeriac Soup, by Melinda

Gabriella Fosso made such a spectacular apple-celeriac soup last Friday, so creamy and soothing, that I really wanted to try something like it. This is an approximation of it, though it's not Gabriella's recipe but rather one from British chef Jamie Oliver.
Cutting celery (photo source)
His calls for celery along with celeriac; while we don't grow head celery (like what you find at a supermarket), we do have "cutting celery" in the U-pick section of the farm, down at the end of a row toward Legion Road. It looks a lot like large, fat-stemmed parsley, but you'll recognize the celery smell if you pick one of the leaves and crush it in your fingers. And cutting celery is better for you than head celery! AND, the cutting celery is thriving in this cool autumn weather! (Btw, although this recipe calls for only one celeriac, Angela says we will be getting more, not this week but probably the following week. Celeriac keeps in the crisper drawer of the fridge.)

Jamie Oliver's Apple & Celeriac Soup--serves 8-10 as a starter; Jamie says "creamy yet earthy celeriac is the perfect foil to sweet and sharp apples."

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced [for regular celery substitute 2 or 3 stalks of cutting celery, including the leaves]
  • 1 celeriac, chopped
  • 4 sweet but crisp & tasty apples, cored & quartered [in other words, not bland Red Delicious--something w/ a stronger, sharper flavor]
  • a few thyme sprigs, leaves picked off to use [Melinda thinks lemon thyme would be nice]
  • 2 qts of vegetable or chicken stock
  • about 4/5ths of a cup of creme fraiche [available at stores, or click here to make your own creme fraiche ahead of time]
  • a few sage leaves
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • toasted hazelnuts [aka filberts]--you can find these at markets [Jamie's recipe does not stipulate skinning the nuts, but here's another opinion: "Hazelnuts have a bitter brown skin that is best removed, usually by heating them at 350F for 10-15 min., till the skins begin to flake." (source). I believe that Gabriella skinned hers.]
Apple Celeriac Soup (photo credit)
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pan. Add the onions & celery & cook over a medium heat for 10 min. until soft. Add the celeriac, apples, and thyme and cook for 2-3 min. Add stock, season [with salt/pepper] and simmer on low heat for 30 min, till the celeriac is tender. Remove from heat and blend w/ an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in half the creme fraiche. Heat the remaining oil and fry the sage leaves until crispy. Spoon the soup into bowls & top with remaining creme fraiche. To serve, drizzle with olive oil & sprinkle w/ crispy sage leaves and hazelnuts [crack the hazelnuts a bit first]. (recipe source) Check out Gabriella's website

If you're interested in connections among foods and art, see W. B. Yeats's lovely, nostalgic poem, "The Song of Wandering Aengus," about a bard who found his love in a hazel wood. Here's a printed version ( and here's a beautifully read version:


  1. Soup sounds great and love the poem.

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  3. No matter what kind of soup you have, you really really want one of Jerry's demi baguettes for dipping. I had half of one yesterday with some mushroom soup I pulled out of the freezer, and it was SOOOO good! I'm glad I have another half to eat with the soup I'm making today (onion celery white bean, with a couple of extra onions from the surplus bin and lots of celery from the u-pick). And if you didn't try one of his dark chocolate cherry pretzels, you have no idea what you're missing. Wow.

  4. Jerry's bread really rocks, that's for sure. I wonder where we can get it in the winter.....