Celery Root and Apple Soup with Roasted Chestnuts
This year we are having a mild winter over here on the Mediterranean Coast. Still, soups are the most popular course on our menus. They make lighter meals or healthy starters for big appetites; in either case, they are indispensable.
Winter vegetables are the perfect ingredient for nourishing and healthy soups, and I'm not only talking about potatoes and pumpkin. Celery root, cauliflower, broccoli, and of course leeks also make delicious soups. Winter vegetable soups are easy to make, but the results are heartwarming and delightful. On a weeknight, you can quickly cook a big batch for the rest of the week. They are the holy grail of lunch al desko since you can carry them around in a container and heat them in under a minute. You can also try freezing the leftovers and have a stash in your freezer.
If you are trying to balance your meals and watch your macros closely, soups can easily save your life. Full of vitamins and minerals they are low in calories, but with all the fiber they fill you up and keep you satisfied. While your soup is cooking mix up a side salad, and your veggie points will skyrocket.
Celery root gives an earthy and robust flavor to this soup and apple balances it with its sweetness. I like adding cashews for creaminess when it comes to making soups from root vegetables. You don't have to be vegan to replace dairy with cashews in soups if you haven't tried it yet, you'll get what I mean when you do. I also added some ground ginger and lemongrass to give some exotic aromas to the recipe. For a hint of smokiness and some earthy taste, I've added some chopped chestnuts as a garnish but if you prefer walnuts or they are coming handy feel free to replace the chestnuts with them.
You can drink this soup as a starter or a big bowl for a full meal. In both cases, I bet it'll become your favorite for the season.
Ingredients (serves 4 as a starter):
3 cups celery root (from 1 big bulb)
2 cups apples
1 medium onion
1/3 cups of raw cashews
1/2 stalk lemongrass
1/2 tsp ground ginger
4 cups of vegetable stock or water
2 tbsp olive oil
1. Chop celery root, apples, and onions roughly and chop lemongrass finely.
2. Place celery root, apples, onions, celery root and ginger in a stockpot.
3. Drizzle over olive oil and occasionally stir for 10 minutes.
4. Add cashews and vegetable stock and bring to boil.
5. Lower the heat to simmer until the celery roots are tender.
6. Purée the soup until smooth using a blender or hand-held immersion blender.
7. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.
8. Garnish with roasted chestnuts and finely chopped parsley leaves.
1. Preheat your oven to 220°C (425°F).
2. Set the chestnuts on a cutting board, flat side down.
3. With a sharp knife cut each chestnut.
4. Put the chestnuts in a baking pan with the cut side facing up.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the chestnuts are burst open, and insides are golden.