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Cream of Celeriac Soup with Herbed Crostini

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Note: When the lemon juice and cream are added to the soup, it will look curdled, but don't worry, once the soup is puréed and the remaining cream is added, it will all look well.

4 sprigs parsley
4 sprigs thyme
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 leek, white and light-green parts only, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large celereric (celery root), peeled and cubed
1 medium russet potato, cubed
4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
herbed crostini, recipe follows

Place parsley, thyme, peppercorns, and bay leaf in a piece of cheesecloth and tie into a bundle.

Warm oil and butter in a large pot set over medium heat. Add garlic, leek, and onion; sauté until soft and translucent but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add celeriac and potato. Pour in chicken stock, lemon juice, and half the cream. Add bouquet garni. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until celeriac is tender, about 25 minutes. Remove bouquet garni and discard.

Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until silky smooth. Return the soup to the pot and warm. Stir in remaining cream. Season with salt and pepper. If desired, strain the soup through a fine-mesh sieve. Serve with herbed crostini. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Herbed Crostini

Note: This recipe uses a combination of chopped parsley and lovage for the herb topping. Celery leaves from celery stalks or celeriac greens, if you can find it, also work well.

6 tablespoons softened butter
fine sea salt
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped lovage
1/2 baguette, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch slices

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine butter with parsley and lovage.

Place bread slices on a baking sheet and toast until light golden, about 5 minutes. Spread crostini with herbed butter.

- Recipe courtesy of Joseph Erdos

 

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