Celeriac, or celery root, can look intimidating, but once you get past its rough exterior, it’s home to a mild root vegetable with a hint of celery flavor. The apples, pears, and smoked tofu are the perfect complement for a warm, early fall soup. I love dunking pieces of soda bread or beer bread, which can be baked in a jiffy while simmering the soup.
Celeriac, Apple, and Pear Soup with Smoked Tofu
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 green onions, finely chopped (just the white part)
1 (210 gram) package firm or extra-firm smoked tofu (I like this one)
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 large sweet-tart apple, such as Mutsu, finely chopped
1 large Barlett or Bosc pear, finely chopped
2 medium celeriac, peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes (about 1 pound after peeling)
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 cups vegetable stock or broth
1 to 2 cups water
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the green onion, tofu, and celery. Cook until the vegetables soften, stirring occasionally and scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add a few splashes of the broth to prevent burning, if necessary. Add the apple and pear. Continue to cook until softened, about 5 more minutes.
Add the celeriac, thyme, salt, pepper, and broth. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat, simmering until the celeriac is tender. If you have an immersion blender, pulse the soup about 5 times, to create some puree of the ingredients and add some thickness, adding additional water if necessary. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer about 2 cups of the soup into a food processor or blender, let cool slightly, then puree until smooth. Scrape the mixture back into the pot. Mix well, adding water if necessary. Test for seasonings. Serve warm.