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Celery Root Soup with Walnut Pepper Relish

IngredientsVegetables, Walnuts
Day PartDinner
Menu PartSoup
Cuisine TypeAmerican

Executive Chef Cindy Pawlcyn
Mustards Grill
Napa, Calif.

Introduce diners to the earthy flavor of celery root, also known as celeriac. This economical soup makes good use of fall and winter produce. Walnut and pepper relish gives each bowl an elevated and eye-catching garnish.


1 tbsp. butter or extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, peeled and sliced
1 leek, sliced and washed well
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups celery root, peeled, diced and kept in acidulated water (3 tbsp. lemon or lime juice in 1 qt. water) until ready to use; drain before using
1 cup potatoes, diced
3/4-1 tsp. salt, to taste
1/4-1/2 tsp. pepper, freshly ground
3-4 cups chicken or vegetable stock, low-sodium preferred
Cream, as needed

Walnut and pepper relish
2 red bell peppers or 1 cup piquillo peppers, roasted and peeled
2 tbsp. pomegranate molasses (or pomegranate juice)
1 cup walnuts
1/2 tsp. toasted, ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 fresh cayenne pepper (or 1 tsp. dried cayenne)
2 tbsp. Turkish or Korean pepper paste, or other chili sauce
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


1. Prepare soup: In stockpot, melt butter or heat olive oil and sweat onions and leeks for 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook over low heat until tender but not brown. Add wine and cook until nearly evaporated.
2. Add celery root, potatoes, salt, pepper and stock. Cover and simmer until all vegetables are tender, adding additional water or stock, if needed.
3. Using blender, food processor or immersion blender, blend until smooth, adding cream, as needed during blending, to reach desired consistency.
4. Prepare relish: Combine peppers and all other ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.
5. To serve, divide warmed soup among six bowls. Swirl 1 tablespoon walnut and pepper relish into each bowl. Or, drizzle each bowl with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped, toasted walnuts.

Photo courtesy of California Walnuts

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