This soup is adapted (ever so slightly) from a favorite soup-oriented cookbook—Anna Thomas’ Love Soup. If you don’t have turnips, substitute a slightly larger squash, more celery root or a few carrots. Celery root is the gnarly subterranean root of the common celery plant. It’s an overlooked treasure—loaded with vibrant celery flavor and a nice crunch. You’ll enjoy it raw as well as cooked—shave some into a green salad for a change of pace.
- 1 kabocha squash, or other large winter squash (about 2.5 pounds)
- 3 medium turnips, peeled
- 1 medium celery root (about 12 ounces)
- olive oil
- sea salt
- 3 cups chopped yellow onion
- large pinch fresh rosemary leaves, chopped (or a smaller pinch of the dried herb)
- 6 cups low-salt broth or water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup (or more to taste)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- garnish of toasted pecans, walnuts or pistachios
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half with a sharp knife, and scoop out seeds and underlying stringy pulp. Place halves cut side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Peel celery root down to the white flesh and cut into approximately one-inch cubes. Cut turnips into one-inch cubes. Toss the turnip and celery root with enough oil to lightly coat and sprinkle with a large pinch of sea salt. Spread across a rimmed baking sheet, in a single layer. Place baking sheets into the oven and roast vegetables until tender (about 45 to 60 minutes). Pierce with a fork to judge when they are done—the fork should glide in easily. Use a spatula to turn the turnips and celery root once or twice during cooking; they will turn a light golden brown as they cook. Remove from the oven and cool. Scoop the flesh from the squash and discard the skin.
- Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, warm 2 to 3 tablespoons oil. Sauté onions with rosemary and a dash of salt until they are soft and golden brown, stirring frequently.
- Add roasted vegetables, broth and a teaspoon of salt to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes until vegetables are very soft. Turn off the heat. Using a handheld immersion blender purée mixture in the pot until completely smooth (alternatively, cool the mixture slightly then purée in a food processor). Add a bit more broth if the soup is too thick to suit you. Stir in a pinch of cayenne, the lemon juice and maple syrup.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Continue to cook for several minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until butter turns a light golden brown. Stir butter into the soup. Taste soup and add more salt, lemon juice or maple syrup as needed to taste.
- Serve with a sprinkling of chopped nuts on each bowl.