Celery Root and Apple Soup: A Healthy Choice for Cold Weather Comfort

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My first experience with celeriac, or celery root, was in culinary school almost ten years ago. Before this, I had no clue what to do with this bulbous, gnarly looking veggie. Nor did I want to learn about it.

Top down vertical image of a blue bowl of soup topped with green chive oil, a white cloth, scattered fresh herbs, a wooden spoon on a white ceramic spoon rest, and a white ceramic serving bowl of soup.

That was the wrong attitude.

In school, we made a puree for the base of a dish one evening.

And that was it: I was hooked on the mellow flavor of the root. I adore traditional celery, but not so much the strings that come with it.

Then, like a dream come true, this root walks into my kitchen (well, maybe it rolled…) and life hasn’t been the same since.

Vertical image of a blue bowl of soup placed on top of a blue saucer with a gold rim, on a table with chopped herbs, a wooden spoon, and beige-colored cloth.

Now, this root veggie is one of my absolute favorites to use to make soups and french fries, along with kohlrabi, a kind of root-adjacent vegetable. (What’s that, you say? You can read more about kohlrabi here.)

Yep, you that read correctly. This veggie makes impressive baked fries.

Looking back, it truly seems all the signs were in place from the beginning: this girl was meant to like celery root. It was only a matter of time before I received – willingly or not – my first introduction to its wonders.

And for that introduction, I am forever grateful.

For this soup, you’ll combine chopped chunks of celeriac with chopped Granny Smith apples, onions, chicken broth, and butter.

Vertical image of a golden spoon full of celery and apple soup topped with chive oil being held up to the camera, with a blue bowl with saucer of the soup in the background, next to a wooden serving spoon on a white spoon rest, a larger white bowl of soup, a white cloth, and scattered fresh herbs on a brown wooden tabletop.

These things will cook for a while, softening all the ingredients until they’re ready to be pureed.

Then you’ll transfer the mixture to a blender. I love my Vitamix for making purees since it can achieve a silky smooth texture, time after time. Just be sure to blend in batches, leave the top slightly open, and wrap the whole thing in a towel to avoid nasty burns!

With a little grapeseed oil mixed with chives drizzled on top, this creamy, comforting soup is every bit as soothing as cream of potato. But it’s different, with the unmistakable flavor of celery, returning like an old friend, as you always knew he would.

The Recipe

Square closeup image of a bowl of apple and celeriac soup topped with green chive oil, with a spoon stuck into the bowl, on a brown wooden table.
Celery Root and Apple Soup
Votes: 8
Rating: 4.88
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Want to try something new? This silky smooth celeriac and apple soup boasts an unprecedented amount of flavor. Try it out now!
Servings Prep Time
4 -6 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 -6 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Square closeup image of a bowl of apple and celeriac soup topped with green chive oil, with a spoon stuck into the bowl, on a brown wooden table.
Celery Root and Apple Soup
Votes: 8
Rating: 4.88
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Want to try something new? This silky smooth celeriac and apple soup boasts an unprecedented amount of flavor. Try it out now!
Servings Prep Time
4 -6 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 -6 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1 1/4 pounds celery root (peeled should yield about 4 cups of 1/2-inch cubes)
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples (peeled and cored yields about 3 cups of 1/2-inch cubes)
  • 1 large onion (about 1 1/2 cups chopped)
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth (or more as needed)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
Servings: -6 servings
Units:
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add chopped celery root, apples and onion. Cook until apples and some of the celery root are translucent (not brown), stirring often, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add 4 cups broth. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer covered until celery root and apples are soft, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth, adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency.
  4. Return soup to pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Puree chives, grapeseed oil, and a pinch of salt in the blender until smooth.
  6. Divide soup among bowls. Drizzle each bowl with chive oil before serving.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Bon Appetit.

Nutritional Info*

Nutrition Facts
Celery Root and Apple Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 257 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 26%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 30mg 10%
Sodium 259mg 11%
Potassium 157mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 27g 9%
Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
Sugars 13g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 15%
Vitamin C 27%
Calcium 6%
Iron 7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Gather and Wash Ingredients

As always, wash all of your produce. This includes the celeriac, apples, chives, and onion.

Be thorough in this step. Apples are among the EWG’s Dirty Dozen for pesticide residue, and we don’t want to consume those nasty chemicals.

A small white plate of butter, a dish of broth, two whole celery roots and three green apples, on a brown wooden table with a beige wall in the background.

Scrub any remaining soil off the root too. Yes, we are peeling it, but we still need to wash it first.

Gather the remaining ingredients: butter, stock or broth, olive oil, grapeseed oil, salt, and pepper.

Step 2 – Prep Ingredients

Not sure how to pick out celeriac? An old San Francisco Chronicle article gives the following advice for choosing fresh ones: look for roots that are heavy for their shape and not too dry.

Now that you have your veggie, how in the world do you cut it?

Get a very sharp, very heavy chef’s knife and cut off each end of the dense, brown skin. Turn it on one of the flat ends and cut down along the sides. What you’ll find inside is a solid, white center that smells like celery and the earth and your hands deep when they’re dug deep into the soil of a spring garden.

From here, use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to remove the remaining skin.

Ingredients for making a soup- a white plate of butter, a bowl of broth, and bowls of chopped apples, celery root, and onions, on a brown wooden surface with a beige background.

Rinse after peeling and then cube the flesh into 1/2-inch cubes.

The cubes don’t have to be perfect. Just keep things mostly uniform, so they will cook evenly. Once cubed, set aside.

With the same peeler or paring knife, peel the apples. Core and cube these and set aside.

Peel and dice your onions and set them aside as well. Don’t forget: you can avoid those tears with our handy tips!

Step 3 – Saute Veggies, Add Stock, and Simmer

To a dutch oven, add the butter and melt over medium heat.

Once melted, add the apples, onions, and celery root. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Saute these for about 15 minutes, until the produce has softened.

A white enamel pot filled with chopped celery root, apples, and onion, on a brown wooden surface with a beige background.

We are developing the flavors here, so don’t rush this step. But be sure not to brown the fruits and veggies either. We aren’t caramelizing them.

Add your 4 cups of stock and stir. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for about 25 minutes.

A white enameled pot of chunky celery root and apple soup, on a brown wooden surface topped with a white cloth.

We want the cubes of fruit and veg to be soft, but not disintegrating. Once all are soft, remove from the heat and let the pot sit uncovered for about 10 minutes to cool.

Step 4 – Puree

Once cooled, add ingredients to a high-speed blender like a Vitamix. You may need to puree this in batches, depending on the size of your blender.

A plastic blender canister filled with a yellow broth, and chopped apples and celery root, on a brown wooden table wrapped in a white cloth, beside the blender lid.

An immersion or stick blender can also be used. You will get a different texture with this though. The final result won’t be silky smooth like if you use the blender.

Once the soup is pureed, return to the stove on medium-low heat to heat through, and switch gears and start making your chive puree.

Step 5 – Make Chive Puree

This garnish uses equal parts chives and grapeseed oil. Why grapeseed oil?

Because it’s light and flavorless, allowing the chives to shine through.

To figure out how to make the best puree, I used a food processor, Vitamix, and immersion blender, and compared the results.

A tall, narrow, clear plastic container filled with green chive oil, beside a plastic squeeze bottle filled part way with the liquid, with its lid resting next to it on a brown wooden table topped with a folded back white cloth, with an herb-coated immersion blender resting on a white plate to the right.

The immersion blender yielded the best results since it is such a small amount of puree being made. I don’t see making large batches of this being helpful or useful, so the larger appliances are not as well suited for the job.

Add the puree to a squeeze bottle and garnish the soup as you prefer. You can also use a spoon if you wish. The chive oil can be made up to two hours before serving.

Step 6 – Serve

Serve this warm pureed soup in generous soup bowls and garnish with the pureed chive oil.

Crusty bread would be a great addition, too. And you can dip it in any leftover chive puree. YUM.

Refrigerate any leftovers and reheat for another comforting serving.

Do You Love This New Vegetable Now?

Alone, or served as a side, this soup is nothing short of amazing.

Cozy and light, it is like the delicate cousin of potato soup, enticing you and calling you in for another warm, comforting bowl.

Celeriac and apple soup topped with chive oil and served in a pale blue bowl on top of a blue saucer, on a brown tabletop with a white cloth in the background, and with a gold-colored spoon stuck in the bowl.

Be ready for an unexpected explosion of savory flavors with an exciting hint of tartness from the apples – a truly perfect pairing.

Did you serve this along with another dish? Tell us how you liked it in the comments below!

And if blended soups are your thing, you’ll love these:


Don’t forget to Pin It!

A collage of photos showing different views of a carrot and apple soup.

Photos by Leslie Morrison, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on March 3rd, 2009. Last updated: September 21, 2019 at 19:57 pm with additional writing by Leslie Morrison.

*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.

7 thoughts on “Celery Root and Apple Soup: A Healthy Choice for Cold Weather Comfort”

  1. I’ve never had celery root before and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in the grocery store. Maybe I’ve bypassed it due to its ugliness. But I am a sucker for soups… My next vegetable to tackle is fennel. Celery root can be after that!

  2. I, too, have never had celery root before, but am always curious about it. The next time I’m at the produce market, I guess I’ll have to take a closer look to see if I can spot it. Love the idea of paring it with apples.

  3. It’s a champ in mashed potatoes!!! Please give it a try. Thanks for introducing it as a match for soups too.

  4. I do a root vegtable mash- peel a celery root, parsnip and rutabega, boil them in about 1.5 cups milk. Once those have started to soften, throw in a couple potatoes, and you can make yourself a balsamic maple syrup reduction as a gravy. It’s really good served with chicken wrapped in fresh rosemary and proscuitto.

    Great recipe- I’ll be sure to try it!

  5. I have a few garlic/chive plants, the flowers are very different, a cluster of small, white, star petals. Do you know if they are edible as are the regular chive flowers?

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