Good afternoon! It has been a busy week here – my niece and nephew from Israel came to visit this week. We had a few days of sight-seeing in downtown DC, going to an American movie theater (complete with recliners), and going out to eat in the ever-shrinking number of Kosher restaurants in the Metro DC area. They are on their way back to Israel after a wonderful but too-short visit, and it is time to focus on this week’s menu.
How many of you have seen a celery root (also known as celeriac), let alone cooked one? Not many, I am guessing. I discovered this amazing root vegetable a year ago, when I decided to try this soup, and fell madly in love with this ugly knotty root.
This root can be hard to find, depending on your local stores. Sometimes my standard local grocery stores carry it (Giant, Wegmans, etc) in the section with other root vegetables- beets, turnips, fennel, etc. At other times it is nowhere to be found on their shelves. But my local Asian supermarkets (including H Mart), always have it and substantially cheaper than at the other stores.
The taste of this root, when cooked, is like celery on steroids. You will never be able to eat plain cream of celery soup again. This particular soup, with both celery and celeriac, is so flavorful and filling, that it is hard to believe that it is low-calorie too.
The biggest challenge you will have in making this soup, will be to peel your celery roots before cubing them. Alton Brown suggests cutting the ends off first, then the root into quarters, making them easier to handle. Use a small knife to cut the outer surface off. A standard Veggie peeler usually isn’t up to the job. They will lose some of their weight with peeling them, so buy roots that are a little heavier than what your recipe calls for.
This is another soup that freezes well – feel free to put back portions to freeze for future meals.
It’s time for a pressure cooker tip: do all your prep work before you start cooking. With a dish like this, there are a variety of chopped veggies. Your pressure cooking experience will be much more enjoyable if you chop and measure everything ahead of time and set aside in bowls, on plates, etc., to add to the pot when the recipe calls for it. It is challenging to concentrate on sautéing your veggies, when you need to be chopping your celeriac and potatoes, etc.