The apples in this soup, which was created by Catherine Walthers, are cooked with the celery root, and the apple cider is reduced to a thickened sauce and then spooned on top of the soup. For a fancier finish, you can garnish with a couple of sage leaves, fried in a small amount of olive oil until crispy.

Serves 6

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 medium leeks, all parts, washed and sliced
  • 2 medium celery roots (celeriac), outside pared off, cubed (about 4 cups)
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, peeled and sliced (about 1 cup), optional
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 medium-sized apples, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • Pepper
  • Cider swirl, recipe follows

1. In a soup pot, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add leeks and continue cooking until they are soft.

2. Stir in celery root and fennel, and let cook a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water, thyme, bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil. Simmer, partially covered, for about 20 minutes. Add apple chunks and simmer an additional 10 or 15 minutes, until all vegetables are thoroughly cooked. Remove the bay leaf.

3. Blend the soup in a blender in batches until very creamy. Adjust salt (this soup usually needs a good amount) and add pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and swirl in a tablespoon of the reduced apple cider in each bowl.

Cider Swirl

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 sage leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dried sage 

1. Bring apple cider to a boil. Turn heat to medium-high, add sage, and simmer about 20 minutes until the cider is reduced to about 1/2 cup or less and thickened.