Celeriac’s close relationship to celery is the reason it is possible to detect hints of celery in what would otherwise be a nutty, earthy taste. This knobbly vegetable is not very common outside Europe and is something of a hidden gem. Its delicate aniseed notes, coupled with a touch of parsley, are intriguing.

In this recipe, this ugly duckling of the root vegetable world is paired with Portobello or field mushrooms to enhance the earthiness inherent in the celeriac. The apple, meanwhile, is an irresistible addition, as apple and celery are a classic combination. In this instance, the apple complements the soft citrus hints present in the celeriac remarkably well.


  • 1 ¼kg Celeriac
  • 100g Coarse sea salt
  • 500g Onions, sliced
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Butter
  • 125g Carrots, sliced
  • 250g Portobello or field mushrooms, sliced
  • 500ml Chicken stock (you can also use veg stock)
  • 125g Blenheim orange (or Bramley) apple
  • Flaky sea salt
  • White pepper


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Peel the celeriac and cut it into 4-6cm chunks. It can be determined to hold its form, so be careful with your hands around the knife. Scatter the coarse salt over a baking tray and place the celeriac chunks on top. Cover the tray with aluminium foil, sealing it well around the edges. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until the celeriac begins to soften. The salt will extract some of the moisture and the flavour will intensify.

  • STEP 2

    In a large saucepan, sweat the onions in a little rapeseed oil and butter until softened. Remove the celeriac from the salt, brushing away any that has stuck to it (the salt can be used again for baking vegetables in the same manner). Add the celeriac, carrots, mushrooms, chicken stock and 500ml water to the onions and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are just soft to the point of a knife.

  • STEP 3

    Peel and grate the apple. Ladle the soup into a blender until half full and blitz until smooth. Pass the blended soup through a sieve into a clean pan, returning anything too coarse to the remaining unblended soup. Blend the remaining soup, adding the grated apple (it will remain a fresh flavour if you add it at this point), then strain it into the pan and reheat gently. Season with salt and cracked white pepper, then serve.