Celeriac, Potato, and Leek Soup

New York City experienced another round of “snowmageddon”, and the snow and slush made had me craving soup. After browsing the Famer’s Market stands at Union Square, I decided on a potato soup with celeriac and lots of leeks, herbs and bacon to up the depth of flavor.

Celeriac – also known as celery root – is an odd looking root vegetable covered in warts and roots. However, beneath the thick skin is a creamy colored flesh that tastes like a mild mixture of celery and parsley.

I like this soup because, while it is heavy, it isn’t too heavy making it a good compliment to a light dinner or a salad – my current favorite is arugula with lemon, olive oil and shaved parmesan cheese.

Know this: This recipe uses potato and celeriac, but you could easily substitute some of the potatoes and celeriac with sunchoke, pear or apple to change the flavor.

Celeriac, Potato and Leek Soup with Bacon

By Evan Kalman
Yields 4 servings


  • 2 slices of bacon – diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1 leek – sliced
  • 1 large celery root – peeled and diced
  • 4 medium potatoes – peeled and diced
  • 2 springs of fresh thyme
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil for drizzling


Render the bacon in a large pot over low heat, 5-6 minutes. Remove the bacon and set aside. Pour off the fat leaving approximately 1 tablespoon in the pot.

Add the butter, garlic and leeks. Sweat over medium-high heat until tender and translucent, 5-8 minutes.

Add the stock, potato, celeriac, thyme, salt and pepper. Simmer the soup for about 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are very tender.

Reserve some whole pieces of potato and celeriac – if desired – and purée the soup using a food processor or blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings with additional salt and pepper. If desired, thin the soup with water or stock.

To finish the soup, garnish with reserved bacon, celeriac and potato and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

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