Let me preface this by saying I am not a vegan, nor am I a vegetarian; I am an omnivore through and through. With that being said, I love this soup. You’d never know there’s no cream, no butter, no animal fats whatsoever making this soup creamy, flavorful and decadent. And what is the secret ingredient you may ask? Well, that would be the celery root, my friend. If you’ve ever seen it at the market and not been sure what to do with it, this is a great place to start.
By itself, topped with some crispy kale, it’s a real winter treat. But beyond that, this soup is a great soup base. I’ve mixed chopped turkey leftovers with a red quinoa rice blend in and it flew out of the fridge. We’ve also added some leftover roast and kale and that was tasty, too. Next I plan to try adding chicken and dumplings and see how that turns out. So you see, the possibilities really are quite endless! I hope you enjoy this soup as much as I do.
3 tablespoons organic olive oil
6 cloves organic garlic, minced
3 organic leeks, trimmed of tough outer leaves, carefully cleaned & sliced
2 organic Vidalia onions, chopped
8 cups organic vegetable stock
10 medium sized organic Yukon gold potatoes, or 1 ¼ pounds, peeled, cut into cubes
1 organic celery root – peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large sprig of organic thyme
3 teaspoons ‘Real Salt’ – Can be substituted with Kosher salt
1 large bunch organic kale, stems removed, cut into 1 inch strips
1 bay leaf
white pepper to taste
Step One: Heat 2 of the tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and leeks to the pot. Sprinkle with 1-teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to caramelize.
Step Two: Stir in the potatoes and celery root. Sprinkle with 1-teaspoon salt. Add the vegetable stock, bay leaf, and thyme. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. As soon as the stock boils, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potato and celery root cubes are starting to break down, just beyond fork tender. Remove from heat. Fish out thyme sprig.
Step Three: Let cool for a half hour to an hour then puree’ until smooth. Return soup to pot and bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Step Four: While the soup is warming up, slice the kale into thin strips. Prepare a plate with a layer of paper towels. Place the remaining tablespoon of olive oil into a skillet over medium heat. Add the kale to the skillet and sauté for about 3-5 minutes, or until the kale strips become bright green and crispy. Transfer the crispy kale to the paper towel covered plate and set aside. Make final salt and pepper adjustments to soup. Ladle into bowls and garnish with crispy kale ribbons.