This elegant and velvety celeriac soup is sure to be a hit, whether you’re making lunch for one or kicking off a dinner party. And we’ve put a little twist on the dish with the addition of shiitake mushroom powder. In addition to adding a rich and earthy hint of umami, it helps support your immune system and heart health. So, let’s get cooking!
Celeriac: a most underappreciated vegetable
Celeriac is, without doubt, an unsung hero of the vegetable kingdom. With its thick, rough skin and gnarly appearance, it doesn’t look especially edible! However, beneath the surface, you’ll find it’s a delicious and versatile ingredient with plenty of health benefits. From celeriac soup to celeriac steaks, there are a wealth of ways to enjoy this tasty root vegetable. As you might guess from the name, celeriac is a variety of celery. However, it’s harvested for its large, round stem rather than its thin, green stalks. Once you peel off the knobbly skin, you’ll discover a smooth cream-coloured vegetable a little like a potato. You can eat this raw, or boil, bake, or roast it. Experts believe people have been cultivating celeriac in Europe since the Middle Ages, both as a medicinal plant and for food. Interestingly, the earliest mentions of the vegetable may actually be from Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, where it’s called selinon.(1) Perhaps unsurprisingly, celeriac has a similar taste to celery. Its flavour is a little stronger, with gorgeous earthy and nutty undertones. The vegetable is crunchy when raw, making it a perfect addition to dishes such as salad and coleslaw. Meanwhile, when cooked it becomes softer and sweeter. Like other root vegetables, it works brilliantly as a mash, added to a stew, or used in celeriac soup recipes. The best part is that putting celeriac in soup doesn’t just taste good. The vegetable boasts an impressive nutritional profile and an amazing number of potential benefits to our wellbeing. Let’s take a closer look at those before moving on to the details of our celeriac soup recipe.
The fabulous health benefits of celeriac
Making celeriac soup is a fantastic way to give your nutritional intake a boost. The vegetable is rich in several key vitamins and minerals. These include vitamins K, C and B6, as well as phosphorus, potassium, and manganese. Not to mention, celeriac is also a brilliant source of fibre. All of which means that this humble vegetable can benefit your health in a wealth of different ways. First, celeriac has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This is advantageous because research links oxidative stress and inflammation to a number of harmful health conditions. These include Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. In addition, the high fibre content of celeriac soup means it could have a positive impact on your digestive system. Fibre helps to nourish the good bacteria in your gut, which in turn supports everything from the immune system to brain health.(2) The fact that celeriac is rich in both vitamin K and phosphorus means it can help to support the health of your bones. Studies indicate that vitamin K works to improve calcium absorption and prevent bone loss, reducing the likelihood of fractures.(3) Meanwhile, research suggests that phosphorus could improve the mineral content and density of bone, lowering the risk of osteoporosis.(4) The vitamin K in celeriac soup also benefits your cardiovascular health. Studies have found that vitamin K may help to prevent the accumulation of calcium in blood vessels, keeping them supple. This can improve blood flow and lower the risk of heart disease.(5) Moreover, celeriac is additionally rich in potassium, which helps to regulate blood pressure. Indeed, evidence indicates that a high intake of potassium could be an effective way to reduce the risk of stroke.(6) That’s a lot of persuasive reasons to put celeriac soup on the menu!
Elegant and aromatic: our celeriac soup recipe
If you look up celeriac recipes soup is often at the top of the list. And there’s a good reason for that. The flavour and texture of the vegetable lends itself perfectly to this kind of dish. So, let’s get into how to make it! Once you’ve gathered all your ingredients, start by heating up the sunflower oil in a pot. Feel free to substitute another type of oil if you prefer. Pop in the sliced shallot and garlic cloves, then sauté on a medium heat until they’re soft. Now it’s time to add the veggie stock, apple, black pepper, and all-important celeriac. Simmer the mixture for about 25 minutes, or until the celeriac is well cooked. This is key for achieving a gorgeously creamy texture when you blend your celeriac soup. You’ll know it’s done when the cubes are tender but not mushy. Alternatively, you can roast the celeriac instead. This takes longer, but really brings out the vegetable’s natural flavours. When ready, turn off the heat and add the lemon juice, vegan butter, and shiitake mushroom powder to the pot. The latter brings a gorgeous earthy umami flavour to the celeriac soup that truly takes it to the next level. The fungus also offers plenty of exciting health benefits, but we’ll talk more about those later! Stir everything together, and then transfer it to a blender. Whizz the mixture until beautifully cre