This veloute-style soup has the fresh clean taste of celery, a delightfully light taste to begin a meal. Chef Matt created the celery root cups on the spot one day when he needed more bowls for the soup; you could, of course, use a more conventional soup plate and sprinkle the deep-fried celery julienne over the soup.
- Deep-fried Celery
- Canola oil - for deep frying
- Celery Root - 1, cleaned and cut in fine, long julienne
- Salt to taste
- Celery Soup
- Celery roots (celeriac) - 6, about 1-3/4 pound each
- Celery with green or yellow leaves - 1 bunch
- Unsalted Butter - 2 ounces (1/2 stick)
- Shallot - 1 large, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
- Dry white wine - 1/2 cup
- White port wine - 1/3 cup
- Chicken Stock - 4 cups
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 pint, whipped to very soft peaks
- White Truffle Oil - 1 tablespoon
To prepare the celery garnish: Heat at least 3 inches of the oil to 350 F in a deep-fryer or deep large saucepan. Pat the celery root julienne dry and fry 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oil with a wire skimmer or slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Season with salt. Do not crowd the fryer; fry in batches if necessary, letting the oil return to temperature between each batch. Set aside; keep warm.
To prepare the soup: Clean the celery roots and trim off any large bumps; do not peel. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each unpeeled celery root, and cut a slightly thicker slice from the tops. Reserve these tops as lids. Stand the roots on their bases and hollow out the centers to form cups, reserving the pulp; Chef Matt presses a large cookie cutter into the top of the celery root to serve as a guide. Cut a 1-inch hole in the center of each lid. Cut several short stalks with leaves from the celery bunch and slip them into the lid holes so that they stand up, securing them well. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat and saute the shallots until softened. Add the celery pulp and saute briefly to warm and soften. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the wine, port, and 2 cups of the chicken stock. Bring to a slow boil and cook 25 to 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Puree, then press through a sieve or china cap. Return to the pot, and add the remaining chicken stock and lemon juice. Bring back to a slow boil and cook 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and puree again with a stick blender.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and place the celery cups on a rack inside the pot; do not let them touch the water. Cover and warm for 2 to 3 minutes (the cups should be warmed but not begin to cook and soften.) Remove and drain on paper towels.
To serve: Make a bed of fried celery julienne on each serving plate. Place a celery root cup on each prepared plate. Fold the whipped cream into the soup, then stir in the truffle oil. Ladle the soup into the pre-warmed celery root cups and place the lids on top.