Celery Root, Parsnip, & Apple Soup with Carmelized Fennel & Herb Oil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled celery root (from one 1 1/4-pound celery root)
1 bulb of fennel (keep the green feathery parts on the top, chop and put in oil)
1 large apple cut up into pieces, peel on is ok
2 large parsnips or 4 small
1 stalk celery
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
4 cups (or more) chicken or vegetable broth
fresh or dry thyme
1/2 cup very finely chopped chives
1/2 cup good olive oil
1 tblsp lemon juice (optional)
1 bay leaf
Pinch of sea salt
3 ounces thinly sliced bacon (optional to crumble on top)
Finely chop chives and fennel greens and add olive oil, a little sea salt and lemon juice (if you have). Let this sit while you make the soup. You will drizzle this on top of the soup with optional crumbled bacon.
Saute bacon or pancetta until browned and crispy. Transfer to paper towel to drain. Crumble. Set aside.
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add celery root, parsnips, carrots, and onion. Cook until some of the celery root is translucent (do not brown), stirring often, about 15 minutes. Add 4 cups broth. Cover and bring to simmer. Add thyme and bay leaf. Reduce heat to medium-low; add chopped apple, simmer covered until celery root and parsnips are soft, stirring occasionally, about 25-35 minutes. While soup is simmering, chop up fennel bulb and sauté in butter and olive oil until carmelized, add salt and pepper. Remove soup from heat; cool slightly. Take out bay leaf before blending.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth, adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency. If you have a hand blender, just blend directly in the pot. This is what I do....easy. Return soup to pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Do ahead: Can be made 1 day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated.
Rewarm soup over medium heat. Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle pancetta crumbles over each serving. Drizzle each bowl with chive/fennel oil and a bit of the carmelized fennel bulb. ENJOY!
Celery Root & Apple Salad with Little Gems
1 medium celery root
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp cream or half and half
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 tbsp mayonnaise (pref. homemade)
sea salt and fresh pepper
1 shallot finely diced
sprigs of fennel green
1 medium apple thinly sliced
1 small head of little gems or butter lettuce
Grate celery root and put in a bowl with salt and lemon juice. Stir together the rest of the ingredients, except for the apple, in a glass. Pour the dressing on the grated celery root and let sit for 20 minutes in the fridge. Arrange celery root on lettuce and top with apple and freshly cracked pepper.