Celery root soup {Sopa de apio nabo}

Celery root soup

I was somewhat traumatized by creamed soups when I was a kid, a typical meal would consist of the “primero” or first course, which was always a soup, followed by the “segundo” or second course, which usually rice with meat, chicken, fish or egg. I always loved certain first course soups like encebollado de pescado, arvejas con guineo, locro de papas, among others, but I never really liked the “cremas” or pureed soups and I was fortunate that my mom didn’t usually prepare pureed soups, but when I was in elementary school I had to walk about an hour to get from our house to school, so my mom arranged for me to have lunch at one of my classmates house who lived a few minutes away from our school; and my friend’s mom loved to make these packaged cream soups, and of course it is considered very rude to not finish your plate, so I had to eat every single bite (which I didn’t always do at home since I was a little bit of a brat). I have since then reconciled myself with creamed soups, as long as they are made from scratch, but occasionally I like to add a little of extra something to keep these soups interesting.

I served this celery root soup with three different toppings: crispy fried pancetta or bacon, smoked salmon and spicy roasted pepper yogurt sauce; each topping adds a little twist of different flavor to the soup. You can have the soup with just one topping or mix and match as you wish. You would think that 3 toppings would be enough for most people, except for Alex (my 5 year old), he asks me “where’s the avocado?”, so I added an additional topping just for him (sorry no photo) and that should have been sufficient, but no, then he asks “how about some goat cheese?”, so he also had some cheese, I hope he won’t be traumatized and 20 years later start writing about all the soup toppings he had to endure and how he just wanted a basic packaged cream soup.

Celery root soup trio


3 celery roots, peeled and chopped in medium pieces

2 potatoes, peeled and chopped in medium pieces

5 cups vegetable broth

1 cup milk

2 tbs olive oil

1 cup chopped white onion

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 bunch dill, chopped

Salt to taste

Toppings: crispy fried pancetta or bacon, smoked salmon and spicy roasted pepper yogurt sauce


  1. Heat the olive oil in large saucepan and add the onions, garlic, cumin and salt to make a quick refrito as the base for this soup, cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped celery roots and potatoes; cook them for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning them.
  3. Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, then reduce the temperature and simmer until the potatoes and celery root are tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Let the soup cool down a little and then blend the celery root and potato to obtain a smooth puree.
  5. Reheat the soup until warm and add the chopped dill, serve with the topping on the side.

Celery root soup Celery root soup

Celery root soup Celery root soup toppings

Celery root soup Celery root soup with roasted pepper yogurt sauce

Celery root soup with smoked salmon celery root soup with pancetta

This post was last modified: August 18th, 2016 by Layla Pujol


  1. Glad I found this completely randomly looking for a celery/dill soup. Good stuff!

  2. I love your pictures of food. Thank you <3

  3. B. Godoy says:

    My mother is from Venezuela. She pines for this apio soup too. But she insists that apio is NOT celery, although she doesn’t know the English word for it. The dictionary says celery. And everyone I asked about apio told me something different, depending on which latin country they come from. Cubans and Puerto Ricans tended to say celery, not celery root. Maybe it is just a misnomer in the dictionary? But it appears that celery root (CELERIAC) is this mysterious APIO. If you look up the scientific classification of celeriac you will note why in Spanish it is called apio = Kingdom, plant; Order, apiales; Family, apiaceae; Genus, apium. Too bad the english name for apio has the celery word in it because although celery soup is also excellent, it is very different.

  4. This is fabulous. I linked you at my blog today. So happy to find you.

  5. Chris Diaz says:

    My husband is from Caracas, and while visiting family there, I was served Sopa de Apio. I was lucky to find celery root sold in the local grocery store in Memphis, TN. So I quickly purchased it, but had no idea how to prepare it. After many searches online for a recipe that used the root and not the celery rib, I came across your website. This is the lovely soup that I ate in Venezuela. Thank you so much for printing it in English (it saved me the time of translating it on Babelfish.com)

  6. I can see how that lovely salsa picante would add wonderful things to the celery root soup. Wow! Talk about kicking it up 10 notches… love it.

  7. Anticiplate says:

    Beautiful photos! I love celeriac and topping it with pancetta sounds unbelievably good.

  8. Lovely soup and combinations! Yum!

  9. I can’t wait to try this soup. It looks rather yummy, especially with your toppings. Thank you for the recipe & beautiful pics. : )

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