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.
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
- 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.
- Add the chopped celery roots and potatoes; cook them for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning them.
- 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.
- Let the soup cool down a little and then blend the celery root and potato to obtain a smooth puree.
- Reheat the soup until warm and add the chopped dill, serve with the topping on the side.