There’s something about orange-colored soups that really does it for me. I’m not sure what it is, but many of the soups I find myself liking more and more have tended to be orange-ish, like the carrot-parsnip soup we’ve been making lately, or squash soups, or this sweet potato and celery root soup. My irrational conclusion is that there must be something high-quality about the color orange in food.
It’s actually a little disappointing that it’s hard to portray the uniqueness of such similar dishes. Sure, they’re usually some kind of root or tough winter squash, and they all look like runny baby food in a bowl if you think too hard about it, but each one has its own qualities that make it a truly distinct dining experience. Carrots have their bitter parsley sweetness, squash have a rustic, understated quality, sweet potatoes are smooth and inviting. I definitely encourage you to try some new orange soups.
…starting with this one, I guess! I found this randomly on foodgawker (original soup recipe linked here) and it just jumped out at me as a great idea. I’ve actually never tried celeriac, but a friend assured me it was awesome, so I went for it. You may have to search around to find one; only one store in my town sold them. Totally worth it.
What made this soup great is that the earthiness of the sweet potato and the brightness of the celeriac complemented each other fantastically, and the coconut and ginger add a subtle richness and perfume that brings everything together nicely. Despite the less common ingredients, this is actually pretty easy and quick to make, so I’d recommend it even for a simple dinner during the week. The original recipe garnished with slivered almonds, but I decided to toast some ciabatta as croutons instead to sop it up. We really enjoyed it.
Sweet Potato Celeriac Soup Recipe
1 lb or so sweet potatoes
1 medium celery root (about 1 lb)
1 medium to large onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
4 cups stock
1 cup coconut milk
salt and pepper, to taste
First, peel your roots. The celery root in particular tends to be pretty complicated and dirty looking, so be careful not to shave away half your vegetable for the sake of getting it clean. Dice everybody up into manageable chunks.
Dice your onion, then heat some oil or butter (maybe a tablespoon) in a big pot and gently saute them until soft. Add the roots and allow them to start cooking as well.
After a few more minutes, add your ginger and garlic, followed fairly soon after by the stock. Bring the pot to a solid simmer and cover, cooking for 15-20 minutes to soften the vegetables almost to mush. Note the homemade frozen stock cubes heating up in the picture below, because we’re awesome and like to make things like this easier.
Once everybody’s nice and soft, puree the entire pot to smoothness with a stick blender (or carefully in a regular blender). You can decide what texture works for you; this time I liked the idea of a very smooth puree. After that, stir in the coconut milk and adjust the flavor with salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!
How about you guys? Any favorite orange soup I haven’t heard of yet?