Soup Week: Celery Root Soup with Granny Smith Apples

Although I’m not a vegan, I find veganism fascinating.  With the abundance of interesting and fun vegan cookbooks out there, I’ve begun flirting with vegan cooking.  My favorite go-to vegan cookbook is The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen.  I love it because the recipes are so satisfying that you seriously don’t even miss meat.  I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true!

Since it’s Soup Week, I thought it would be fun to throw a vegan choice into the mix and make Tal’s most popular vegan soup, Celery Root Soup with Granny Smith Apples.  I can see why people go crazy for this soup—the intense creaminess.  You know how you anticipate that first bite of a bisque—the creaminess, the buttery roundness? This soup satisfies in the exact same way. The key to this quality is the cashew cream. Don’t get intimidated, because it’s actually surprisingly easy to make.  This vegan-chef staple really does a nice job of replacing dairy.  

Although there are a bunch of steps to this soup, including remembering to refrigerate your cashews in water overnight, it’s quite straightforward. Peeling the odd-looking bulbous celery root was a first for me, but other than that I came across no problems, and ended up with a soup that tasted so good—refreshing and earthy, but with a fantastic creamy texture. Add a garnish of chopped-up Granny Smith apples for an added tartness and crunch and the chive oil for a pop of green color and another layer of oniony flavor. This soup is elegant, relatively simple to make, healthful, and most important, it tastes amazing! Enjoy!

Cashew Cream
Makes about 2 1/4 cups thick cream or 3 1/2 cups regular cream
Prep time: 10 minutes, plus soaking overnight

  • 2 cups whole raw cashews (not pieces, which are often dry), rinsed very well under cold water

1. Put the cashews in a bowl and add cold water to cover them. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.

2. Drain the cashews and rinse under cold water. Place them in a blender with enough fresh cold water to cover them by 1 inch. Blend on high for several minutes until very smooth. (If you’re not using a professional high-speed blender such as a Vita-Mix, which creates an ultra-smooth cream, strain the cashew cream through a fine-mesh sieve.)

3. To make thick cashew cream, simply reduce the amount of water when they are placed in the blender, so that the water just slightly covers the cashews.

Celery Root Soup with Granny Smith Apples
Makes 6 servings
Prep time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

  •  Sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium celery roots, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 quarts faux chicken or vegetable stock (try Better Than Bouillon brand)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup thick Cashew Cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, unpeeled, very finely diced
  • Chive Oil (recipe follows)

1. Place a large stockpot over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke. This will create a nonstick effect.

2. Add the celery root, celery, and onion and sauté for 6 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until soft but not brown. Add the stock and bay leaf, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the Cashew Cream and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

3. Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender, cover the lid with a towel (the hot liquid tends to erupt), and blend on high. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls. Place a spoonful of the diced apple in the center of each serving, drizzle the Chive Oil around the apple, and serve.

Chive Oil
Makes ½ cup

  • 1 small bunch chives
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Blanch the chives for 30 seconds in boiling water, then drain and chill in an ice bath. Drain, wrap the chives in a towel, and squeeze the moisture out. Place in a blender with the remaining ingredients and blend for 2 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Put the chive oil in a plastic squeeze bottle with a small opening or use a spoon for drizzling it on the soup.

3 Responses to “Soup Week: Celery Root Soup with Granny Smith Apples”
  1. Margaret Hoogland says:

    It’s going to be a cold weekend—I think I will give this a try. Great Blog!

  2. Tami says:

    I can’t wait to try this! I love a creamy soup but hate that heavy feeling it leaves you with- I’m so excited to try this alternative! YUM!!

    • Parhan says:

      I have recently cut dairy from my diet and dovcisered the great palatability of almond milk. Do you think it would work in this corn chowder recipe, or would the almond flavoring not mesh too well?

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