Soup has a universal appeal. Every single culture has a recipe. Making and eating soups evokes a sense of well-being. Cultural anthropologists believe that soup has been cooked in China since 20 000 BCE, based on scorched and scratched pottery that has been excavated there. In the 15th century, European soup dishes known as potages became a staple of peasants’ diets. Boiling water killed any bacteria, preserved nutrients, and made food easier to chew. Soup also came to be known as the meal that promotes healing. And it is not just the proverbial chicken soup. Soups keep us warm and hydrated.

Soups are quick to make, filling, and economical. Traditionally lunches and dinners began with soups. It is still the case in Europe, but long menus/courses were abbreviated to “soup and salad” in the US, or soups were skipped altogether.  

There is another reason why soups taste the best on a cold winter day; scientists believe that in times of emotional stress, warm soup can evoke a feeling of happiness and satisfaction. Celeriac makes for a very flavorful and easy soup with few other ingredients. 

Celeriac, also known as a celery root, is my winter favorite and the foundation of all soups of Central Europe, together with carrots and parsley root (not to be confused with parsnip). Celeriac is a potato-like, large, knobby bulb with a rich, earthy flavor and is a descendant of wild celery, which dates to ancient Egypt, where it was used as a medicinal plant.

This soup recipe has more body because celery and potatoes act as a natural thickener. You can use homemade stock, or using a store-bought version works as well. I usually make my broth in large batches and freeze it. You can see my broth-making process here. Celeriac is made into a tasty “vegetable steak” by placing slices in a heavy pan and pressing down to ensure an even sear on both sides. Another delicious and easy celeriac recipe is here

Celery Root and Potato Puree

Celery root soup in a white bowl, garnished with grated cheese

Celery Root/Celeriac Soup

Magda Born
This winter I decided to focus more on soups, and this soup is one of our favorites. 
This soup recipe has more body because celery and potatoes acts as a natural thickener. You can use homemade stock, or using a store bought version works as well.
Course Soup


  • 2 small Leeks [or 1 large leek] (light green part only, soaked, cleaned, and coarsely chopped)
  • 1-2 medium Celery roots
  • 1-2 large Potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 6 c Chicken broth (or vegetable broth or water)
  • 2 Tbsp Butter (unsalted)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 drop Truffle oil
  • Parmigiana cheese (grated)



  • Leeks are another delicious yet underappreciated vegetable. They are tricky to clean because sand gets trapped in their many layers. Learn how to clean them and use them in other recipes here
    Ingredients for celery soup sitting on a counter


  • Under running water, scrub the root well with a stiff brush. Using a small, sharp knife, remove the outside skin layer, including deep grooves, and cut the root into chunks.  
    Celery roots cut in half
  • In a heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté until soft to give your soup greater depth. Add the celery root and potatoes and cook another 10 minutes. Add the stock (or water) and bring to a simmer and cook covered until the vegetable is very soft. 
  • I am using an Instant Pot for this recipe.
    soup ingredients in a pot
  • When the vegetables are soft, remove them from the heat and let the soup cool to avoid getting burned. Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender or use a stick blender to puree the soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Add the truffle oil, if desired. Garnish with grated parmigiana cheese. 
    Cooked soup being blended in the pot with a stick blender
  • Blend the soup until smooth and salt to taste.
    Soup in the pot after being blended
  • To serve, ladle warm soup into bowls and garnish with truffle oil, finely grated parmigiana, and chives. Enjoy!  
    Celery root soup in a white bowl, garnished with grated cheese

Magda Born

Community Services Librarian

Kansas City, Kansas Public Library

625 Minnesota Ave.

Kansas City, KS 66101

913-295-8250 ext 1103


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