Celery Root Bisque with Homemade Garlic Croutons

On one of the recent sunny Seattle winter days (love it!) I was cleaning out the last of the plants from our old p-patch. I had to dig out some enormous parsley plants that had gone to seed and built a root system that meant business. I got my exercise pulling those buggers out! The scent of the broken parsley roots smelled so much like celery root that it lead to a craving for celery root bisque – which I eagerly indulged in.

Celery Root Bisque

3 small to medium celery roots, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 medium to large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 cup chopped celery, including leaves
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (I would have used white if I had it on hand)
salt to taste
4 cups homemade vegi stock
4 cups water
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 cup half and half

Melt the butter in a large soup pot/sauce pan. Add the celery and onion and saute till soft, about 8-10 minutes, over medium heat. Add the celery root, potato, stock, water, vinegar and spices. Bring to a boil over high and then turn heat back down to medium/low and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the celery root and potato are soft. Puree the soup in a blender in batches. Return to the pan and add the half and half and warm through. Taste for seasonings. Serve with homemade croutons (recipe follows).

Homemade Garlic Croutons

2 cups 1-inch cubes of your favorite bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic granules
pinch of salt

Turn on your broiler.

Mix the olive oil, garlic and salt in a medium bowl. Add the bread cubes and toss till well coated.

Place the seasoned bread cubes into a roasting pan and place under the broiler till crisp, being careful to keep them from burning.

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