David Lebovitz’s Celery Root Soup

by Laura FrerichsTastemaker in Residence

As he always does, David Lebovitz always makes a stunning dish out of anything…and here he goes again with our featured item this week the celery root!

What is this veggie? Celery Root - from Loon Organics Farm
Also known as the great celeriac, celery root’s appearance often makes it a very under-appreciated vegetable. But just like not judging a book by its cover, don’t judge the celeriac by its old man appearance! It is absolutely delicious with a nutty taste that is out of this world when roasted, sautéed, braised and even grated raw for a salad. To prep it use a chef’s knife to cut off the top and bottom of the root, exposing the pale flesh of the interior. Prop the root on one of the newly flattened poles, and, using curved downward strokes, cut off the brown skin in long swaths. Once peeled, cut the root into chunks, cutting out any spongy bits that may develop at the center.


2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
sea salt
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
one large celery root peeled and cubed
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
1 to 1 1/2 tsp freshly-ground white pepper
scant 1/8 tsp chili powder 


  1. In a large pot, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the leeks and cook for about five minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic cloves and season with salt, and continue to cook until the leeks and garlic are soft and translucent. If the pot begins to brown too much on the bottom as they cook, add another pat of butter or pour of olive oil.
  2. Add the celery root and stock. (Or use all water.) Bring to a boil, then reduce to a strong simmer. Cook, with the lid to the pot ajar on top, until the celery root pieces are soft and easily pierced with a paring knife, about forty five minutes.
  3. Add white pepper and chili powder, then purée using a hand mixer, or let the soup cool to room temperature and whiz in a blender until smooth. Taste, and season with additional salt and pepper if desired. If too thick thin with water or stock.