Celery Root Soup with Horseradish Cream and Ham Chips | #DavidLebovitz

Peeling the celeriac while getting rid of its dense roots on the base reviewed the floral aroma of the everyday celery. It’s a familiar smell and very refreshing. The aroma stopped me on my track. I paused and started admiring the beauty of what’s often viewed as the ugly tangled knob of the celery root. Grabbed my camera and took this picture. I wished I haven’t chopped off the stalks and threw them out in the compost bin without a closer examination. They might not be as tender as the celery stalks that come prepackaged. Surely, they are good enough to make stock. Once I finished cleaning the root, it did not take long for  the celery root soup to come together.

Pile on more aromatics: leeks, fresh thyme and bay leaves, in the pot. Add some water, cook for 30-40 minutes and power up the immersion blender, voila! On top of all that, there are the winning  components of the horseradish cream and the ham chips. Together they add flavor and texture to the celery root soup.

I thought I could lighten the horseradish cream, using greek yogurt instead of crème frâiche. It wasn’t quite right. Yogurt didn’t deliver the creaminess intended. However, when I whipped up some heavy cream until stiff peaks, and added grated horseradish and lemon juice to the mix, the result was remarkable. I could eat it by the spoonfuls – not exactly the original intent of keeping the soup light and lean. Sometimes, intentions and rules are meant to be broken!

Celery root with stalks removed

The ham chip is a revelation. A simple step of baking thin slices of  ham or prosciutto in the oven for 10 minutes or so is transforming. (I used Serrano ham.) They turn into real thin chips. Salty and crunchy, they are something you’d crave in a creamy soup.

In the cookbook My Paris Kitchen, David Lebovitz delivers another good recipe with complex flavor and texture. Now I see celery root in a different light. I can pick one up at the market and turn it into comfort food and soup for lunch or a light meal. Along with these two wonderful hacks: horseradish cream and ham chips, it’s all good in the kitchen front.

(If not for anything else, comfort food is an effective distraction from thinking about the carnage along my favorite bike path in lower Manhattan.)

I’m linking this post to Cook-the-Book-Fridays; our friends there are making and commenting on the celery root soup this week.


Peeled celery root ready to be diced to make soup

Celery root soup with horseradish whipped cream and ham chips


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  • Reply
    November 3, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    Looks like I took off more than I should from my celery root, must remember not to do a ‘clean’ job of it next time! Thanks for the before and after pics! Before FFwD and now MPK, celery root aka celeriac was alien to me, but now it is appearing more often in the crisper drawer in my fridge.

    Love how you use the ham chips with the horseradish cream.

  • Reply
    Chez Nana
    November 4, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    After all my complaining about the dirt in the veggies, I have to admit this was a great and tasty soup. I enjoyed the chips, and I love horseradish sauce. Great recipe to be repeated.

  • Reply
    November 4, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    The hardest part is cleaning the celery root, which isn’t all that hard in the grand scheme of things. I’ll be using the horseradish cream and ham chips on other things this fall/winter. Baked potatoes first!
    Comfort food helps in the aftermath of tragedies like Tuesday’s. Hopefully your soup distracted you somewhat about that sad incident.

  • Reply
    November 5, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    I have all the ingredients ready to make this soup tomorrow and am chagrined that it will need to provide comfort for yet another tragedy tonight in Texas. Sad for you and the victims in NYC and Texas and, everyday I cry for America. But tomorrow is another day and I am looking forward to enjoying the flavors that all of you say are so satisfying.

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