Creamy Celeriac and Potato Soup

An overhead view of creamy potto soup in a white bowl, garnished with crisp brussles sprout leaves and pancetta. It sits on a black board and beside the bowl is a shiny silver spoon on a red paisley linen napkin.

You won't even recognize your leftovers with this sophisiticated soup.

by Erin Henderson

A few weeks ago, I shared a recipe for my celeriac-potato purée that I have been making on repeat all season. 

The celeriac give a sweet lightness to the potatoes, and the potatoes offer structure and depth to the celeriac. It's a winner, and if you haven't tried it yet, stop everything you're doing and get to the kitchen pronto.

It's absolutely delcious as a base for braised short ribs, and completely comforting with roast chicken. Guests always go back for seconds, so I make lots. 

My fear of running out means I always have leftovers – even after the second and third helpings. I'm not the biggest fan of reheating day-old mashed, it seems to lose something in the overnight process, so I came up with this idea for using the purée in a take on vichyssoise. Smooth, enticingly flavourful, and gorgeous with a shower of Brussels sprout leaves and pancetta running overtop, this is both welcome as a warming lunch at home, and polished enough to start a dinner party. 

Creamy Celeriac-Potato Soup

This is a terrific recipe for those busy weekends when you might be hosting a dinner on Friday night, using the celeriac mash as part of that meal, and then having people over for a casual Sunday lunch.

Repurposing leftovers not only breathes new life into something that might find its way to the bin after hanging out in the back of the fridge for a week or two, but also cuts down on prep time. 

Makes: About 3 litres

Chef level: Easy

For the soup:
  • ½ cup salted butter
  • 1 large leek sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup dry white wine (such as Pinot Grigio)
  • 5 cups celeriac mash
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • 5 sprigs thyme, tied in a bundle for easy removal
  • 1 cup cream
  1. Into a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat.
  2. When frothy, add the leek and garlic, cooking gently until soft, but not brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Season gently with salt and pepper.
  4. Add in the white wine, cook until reduced by half, about another 5 minutes.
  5. Add in the celeriac mash, stock, and thyme, stirring to combine, and cook until heated through, about 10 minutes.
  6. Using a hand/immersion blender, blitz the soup until smooth and creamy and no chunks remain.
  7. Stir in the cream, adjust seasoning, and serve with the Brussels sprout and pancetta garnish.
For the Garnish
  • 8 oz cubed pancetta
  • 10 Brussels sprouts, leaves torn off and separated
  • ½ cup thick sour cream or crème fraiche
  1. Into a dry sauté pan set over medium heat, add the pancetta, stirring and cooking until fat has rendered and meat is starting crisp.
  2. Add the Brussels sprout leaves, allowing the leaves to crisp and char in spots.
  3. Season lightly with salt and pepper if desired and remove from heat.
  4. Spread the pancetta/Brussels sprouts mixture over top of the soup, dotting with crème fraiche.
Wine Pairing

Because of the soup's earthy, vegetale nature, pair this with a wine with flavours that will compliment that green-edged quality, and have enough lip-smacking acidity to cut through the dairy richness. 

Try a Pouilly-Fumé, a white wine made with Sauvignon Blanc grapes from France's Loire region. It has flavours of ripe fruit and flinty/chalky mineral with that classic, Sauv Blanc herbal note.

 

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