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Curried Celeriac and Red Pepper Cream Soup with Celeriac Crisps and Fried Capers


This simple soup brings the clean, unusual taste of celeriac together with the bite of a typical Indian curry preparation, and the addition of celeriac crisps, fried capers and the red pepper swirl gives it a festive air for the holidays.

Curried Celeriac and Red Pepper Cream Soup with Celeriac Crisps and Fried Capers

What is celeriac?
Celeriacsm_4One of my readers is glad I call it by its proper name, another wants to know what it is...The Epicurious Food Dictionary entry tells us: "This rather ugly, knobby, brown vegetable is actually the root of a special celery cultivated specifically for its root. It's also called celery root and celery knob."  Go to the Epicurious entry for more information...

1 celeriac knob, peeled
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1/2 sweet red pepper
1/2" piece of fresh ginger, peeled, sliced
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander powder
2 T tomato juice
1/2 C water
3/4 C heavy cream
12 capers
oil for frying
garam masala (recipe below)
salt, hot sauce to taste

With mandoline, shave off 8 very thin disks from the celeriac knob and set aside. Cut the rest of the celeriac into 3/4" chunks. Place in salted boiling water to cover and simmer until tender, about 12 minutes or so. Drain.

Cut the red pepper in chunks and simmer in salted water until tender, about 5 minutes.

Sauté the onion and the ginger in a little oil, stirring occasionally, over medium-high heat until softened, about 8 minutes. Scatter in the mustard seeds and raise the heat to high. Cook, stirring, until the seeds begin to pop. Add in the turmeric, coriander, tomato juice and water, stir to combine, lower heat and simmer, covered, five minutes.

Purée together the celeriac chunks and onion mixture. Stir in the cream. Correct seasoning.

Purée the red pepper with a little olive oil.

Deep fry the reserved celeriac disks in 375º oil, turning occasionally, until browned, about 4 or 5 minutes. Drain on a rack. While still warm, toss the celeriac crisps in garam masala and salt to taste.

Dry the capers well with a paper towel and deep fry them until browned, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towel and toss with salt and garam masala while still warm.

(Both the capers and crisps can be kept for a day or two if wrapped in an airtight enclosure after they have fully cooled.)

To assemble and serve, warm the soup until just above serving temperature. Ladle into bowls and place a spoonful or two of the red pepper purée on the surface of the soup. Swirl the red pepper sauce around in the soup with a chopstick or wooden skewer. Place the crisps in the soup, and scatter in a few capers. Serve with additional garam masala on the side.

Garam Masala

(from Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Sumana Ray)

  • 3 tablespoons cardomom seeds
  • 3" cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 of a nutmeg

Grind spices together until finely ground. Store in a tightly closed container.


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I've never deep fried capers before. Sounds interesting. I love soups so am going to try this out once I get my appetite fully back.

Celeriac is one of my favourite vegetables and so underrated.
Your soup sounds so much more exciting than any thing i ever do with it.
I only have 2 recipes in my repertoir: remoulade & creamy mashed celeriac.
AND... I am glad you call it by its proper name - sounds far better than celery root.

Ok... I'm hungry now! That's the power of quality food porn!

Sincerely, it looks delicious!

This sounds wonderful. As a fan of capers, I like the idea of deep frying them. I'll have to try this out on a cold winter day. Creative, as always.

feed me . . .

I guess I'm out of my league here. I don't even know what celeriac is. Gee...
I'm sure this is great thought if it's from Steve-o.

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