Creamy, savory, and sweet all come together in a warm bowl of Celeriac, Parsnip, and Fennel Soup. With the chilly winter weather, cozying up with a bowl of this soup and warming yourself from the inside out is a must.
Combining some sweeter produce and more savory produce, fruit and vegetables balance each other beautifully. The parsnip and apple bring the sweeter notes, while the celeriac and fennel bring stronger flavor notes of a savorier nature.
Although I love a bowl of chunky soup, a smooth, creamy soup is difficult to beat. Working in harmony, the celeriac and parsnip puree into a creamy bliss almost negating the need for additional cream.
Even though the soup is the star, condiments like fried green garlic and lemon zest add a punch of flavor to compliment this Celeriac, Parsnip, and Fennel Soup. Let your taste buds be your guide. Add whatever condiments you’d like. Maybe some smoky pancetta or chopped chives?
What the heck is Celeriac?
Are you scratching your head with all this talk of celeriac? Well, I get it. The celeriac has never been a popular ingredient here in the US (given it is not native to our land) but is well known in Europe. Far from a pretty vegetable, the celeriac looks like the ugly step-child of a potato and celery. Celeriac and regular old celery are actually the same plant.
Ok, first off, don’t let celeriac’s appearance scary you away. It is ugly. Somewhat hairy with odd looking wort-like protrusions. The characteristic celery leaves at top of this tuberish vegetable will remind you of celery stalks.
When you trim away the outer layer of the celeriac, the inside looks very similar to other tubers and root vegetables. Keep in mind the flesh oxidizes quite quickly so I tend to cut it up last. If you do prepare it ahead of time, try adding some lemon juice to water and keep the cut celeriac submerged.
(Parsnips, fennel, and apple aren’t getting much attention here, but they are also packed with goodies for your body. Fiber. Fiber. Fiber. Along with other vitamins and minerals.)
If you haven’t noticed, I tend not to stress the nutrition of a food nor where it fits into specific diets. This isn’t because I don’t find value in these facts; rather; I feel many, MANY other people are already doing that for you. I usually stress the importance of food for your soul.
With that said, I also enjoying educating others on the nutritional punch within certain foods. Celeriac and celery in general is one of those foods packed with a mighty punch. Now, nothing I am about to tell you is a cure-all. Celery will not fix all that ails you turning you into the next super-human.
Ready for the details? Celeriac is a rich source of antioxidants (think of these guys as super powerful shields protecting us from byproducts/enemies wanting to damage and age our bodies), vitamin K, vitamin C, and some B vitamins. It doesn’t contain B12 as it’s only found in animal sources.
According to the website, Food Facts by Mercola, here is a list of benefits of eating celeriac:
, here is a list of benefits of eating celeriac:
- Help maintain healthy digestive system (FIBER!!)
- Fight of free radicals (ANTIOXIDANTS!!)
- Helps with energy production and storage
- Reduce risk of cardiovascular disease (vitamin K)
- Improves bone health (vitamin K and phosphorus)
Sounds good doesn’t it? Remember, I am not a doctor. I am a nutritionist and, more importantly, I want to share my passion for food and cooking with you.
Variety is the spice of life, right?
One of the best ways to keep cooking interesting is to try new things. When I come across an ingredient I have not seen or used before, I jump at the chance to incorporate it into my cooking. New foods bring a sense of adventure to cooking and eating.
Now, this doesn’t always go as planned. I have had some disastrous meals. The idea sounded great on paper, but the end result left me preferring my dog’s meal over mine. Don’t let these situations discourage you. We all have them. If nothing else, they often bring some comic relief your evening.
My dear friend and I still laugh at the memory from college in which a meal went wrong. We were roommates at UCLA (Go Bruins!) She hadn’t yet honed her cooking skills and she was attempting to cook a rice dish in the microwave. The microwave dinged and we tasted the concoction. Well, we didn’t taste so much as crunched. Even though the flavor was good, we couldn’t get past all the crunchy rice bits throughout the dish. Years later and we still joke about her meal affectionately called Little Crunchies.
Did we have a perfectly made meal that night? Of course not. Little Crunchies explains it perfectly.What we did have was a beautiful moment of laughter and community. Food is at the heart of many heart-warming memories even if the food isn’t perfect.
Getting back to trying new things. There are different ways to approach this goal. You can walk through the produce section at your local grocery looking for something new-to-you. I do something similar with my CSA (community supported agriculture) box. I get my weekly CSA box from Farm Fresh to You.
Every week I get to select what’s in my next CSA box. Once I select all the staples, I scroll through the items looking for something I haven’t used before or in a long time. After selecting the item, say celeriac, I will then take ten minutes or so to peruse the internet to get recipe ideas.
Exploring new-to-you cuts of meat is also a great way to try new things. Look in the meat case at your local grocery store or find a good butcher shop. Ask for some suggestions on less common cuts of meat. Often times the less common cuts will be cheaper and just as tasty if prepared correctly. Don’t hesitate in asking the butcher for advice on best ways to cook them. Some meats do better with a low and slow approach, while others are best for a quick sear only.
I’d LOVE to hear about your own cooking adventures. Drop a line or two below in the comments section telling me about the good, the bad and the ugly. All are learning experiences.
Hopefully you are still with me and ready to start taking some cooking adventures of your own. Have I convinced you to give this odd-looking vegetable a try, yet? Celeriac can be used in various ways (and I urge you to explore) but this Celeriac, Parsnip, and Fennel Soup is my favorite.
Enjoy! And remember, if you do make this recipe, I’d love to hear about it in the comment section below.
Celeriac, Parsnip, and Fennel Soup
- 1 lb Parsnip peeled chopped (approx. 400g after peeling)
- 1 medium Fennel thinly sliced
- 1 small to medium celery root peeled and chopped (approx. 200g)
- 2 medium apples peeled and chopped
- 2-3 tbsp butter
- 3-4 cups vegetable broth chicken broth will also work (see Note)
- ½ – ¾ cup heavy cream or coconut milk canned, full-fat (See Note)
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ lemon juice and zest
- green garlic (optional) chopped & lightly fried
- Peal parsnip, apple, and celery root. The celery root exterior can be tougher and thicker than the parsnip and apple, so you may want to use a knife to trim rather than a peeler.
- Put fennel, parsnip, and celery root in large pot (Dutch oven or soup pot). Add in broth until it just covers the vegetables. You can always add more liquid as it cooks if needed.
- Once it comes to boil, turn down heat to a simmer. Let simmer until almost tender. Add in the apples for last few minutes and cook until all vegetables are tender with no resistance when pierced with fork.
- Remove from heat. At this point you can remove some liquid if you think it will be too much. Too much liquid will yield a watery soup.
- Using an immersion blender (see Note) blend soup until all vegetables are blended together. You can leave some chunky if you prefer. Add more broth or water as need to adjust thickness. Squeeze in about 1/2lemon juice. Taste. Add more if needed.
- Finish soup with cream or coconut milk to desired thickness. Finish with a few tbsp. of butter and season with salt and lemon zest. Optional top with green garlic.