Celery root looks like a softball sized bulb, bumpy and gnarled, with a patch of small green celery sprouting from the top. It might not catch your eye, especially as it is generally nestled between bok choy, daikon, burdock, sunchokes, jicama, and other obscure vegetables in your grocers produce section, but it is not to be ignored.
This strange looking root adds great flavor to soups and is a killer addition to mashed potatoes. The subtly sweet flavor adds a delicious dimension of flavor to this hearty split pea soup.
It is important to eat vegetarian or vegan a few nights a week to reduce pollution and help take care of our bodies. Split peas are high in protein so this meal will leave you feeling full and satisfied. Leftovers make a great lunch the following day.
Chunky Split Pea and Celery Root Soup with Thyme Roasted Croutons
1 yellow onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2-3 stalks of celery, cut in half and diced
1 celery root, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup green split peas
6-8 cups vegetable broth, chicken broth, or water
4 cups cubed wholegrain bread
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
salt and pepper
Film the bottom of a large soup pot with grapeseed oil. Heat over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and celery root and cook until vegetables sweat and reduce in size, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add split peas, broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce to low. Cook for about an hour. Stir the pot and add additional stock if necessary. Use a potato masher to mash celery root to a chunky consistency. Heat until split peas are tender and flavors are combined, a total of around two hours, adding more stock as necessary to keep a soupy consistency.
Meanwhile, place bread cubes on a large rimmed baking sheet. Preheat oven to 350. Toss bread with herbs, salt, and a tablespoon or two of grapeseed oil. Roast until lightly browned and crunchy, about 20-25 minutes.
Serve soup in a large bowl topped with croutons, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, freshly grated black pepper, and a thyme sprig.