All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013
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This soup isn’t enormously different from my Carrot & Pumpkin Lavender Soup except that it uses celery root rather than pumpkin. The celery root adds a creaminess to the soup that makes the cup of heavy cream I included very optional – without which (the cream) this soup is vegan & very light! The culinary lavender I included is also probably optional but I do recommend buying some & experimenting with it. It adds an olfactory sensation that is as soothing as the warm soup itself is.
Carrot & Celery Root Soup with Lavender & Herbs de Provence
2 lbs carrots – sliced
2 celery roots – peeled & cubed
1 large onion – diced
1 leek – sliced (white part only)
4 garlic cloves – chopped
5 TBS lavender
3 TBS olive oil
2 TBS herbs de Provence
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream (optional)
2 TBS butter (or vegan option)
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp dry ginger
4 TBS sugar
Creme fraiche (as garnish) – optional
S&P to taste
Cheesecloth or other fine straining device
Boil 4 cups of water & add the lavender. Remove from heat & allow to steep for at least 10 minutes. Using cheesecloth – strain the lavender out & reserve the water.
Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot. Saute the garlic, onion, leek & herbs de Provence a few minutes or until the onion is translucent. Try not to brown them. Add the white wine & bring to a boil. Add the carrots & celery root & the lavender water. Bring to a boil & reduce heat to medium & simmer until the carrots & celery root are soft (20 minutes or so – depending on the size of the cubes) – adding water if needed to keep the vegetables covered. Add butter (if using) and the nutmeg, ginger & sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar & distribute the spices.
The soup is ready to be pureed. You might want to let it cool a bit to avoid scalding yourself. You can use an immersion blender or a traditional blender & puree the soup in batches. Once it is creamy, return it to heat & add heavy cream (if using) and salt & pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh cracked pepper or a dollop of creme fraiche. Serve!