Behold, an exquisitely simple, sophisticated soup with a subtle celery root flavor that’s certain to make you swoon. If you want to be efficient with your time, go ahead and double the amount of caramelized apples that you make so you can save yourself the time and trouble of politely explaining to guests that no, you’re sorry, there are no more of those luscious lovely apples (because you’d snitched half the batch while waiting for guests to arrive because they’re THAT irresistible.)—Kate McMillan

Celery Root Soup FAQs

What is celery root?

Celery root, or celeriac, is a root vegetable that looks similar to a turnip but has a distinctive celery flavor.

What else can I do with celeriac?

It can be served raw in salads or cooked into soups or a creamy celery root gratin.

Two bowls of pureed celery root soup topped with cubes of caramelized apple.

Celery Root Soup with Caramelized Apples

5 / 3 votes
For this celery root soup, caramelized apples top a puree of cooked celery root (aka celeriac), leeks, vegetable stock, and half and half. An excellent autumn dish.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories131 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time50 minutes


For the soup

  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 leek, white and pale green parts, chopped
  • 2 medium (2 lbs total) celery root or celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons half-and-half, or more as needed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the caramelized apples

  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into tiny dice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dark brown sugar


Make the soup

  • In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the celery root, stir to coat, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the celery root is very tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let cool slightly.
  • Purée the soup with an immersion blender or, working in batches, purée it in a blender and return the soup to the pot. (You can make the soup up until this point and stash it in the fridge for up to several hours or in the freezer for up to several weeks.)
  • Place the soup over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the half-and-half, and bring to a gentle boil. If a thinner soup is desired, add more half-and-half. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the caramelized apples

  • While the soup is cooling, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it foams. Add the apples and sauté for 4 minutes. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and begin to caramelize, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each portion with some of the caramelized apples.
Soup of the Day

Adapted From

Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 131 kcalCarbohydrates: 12 gProtein: 1 gFat: 10 gSaturated Fat: 6 gMonounsaturated Fat: 2 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 25 mgSodium: 950 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 7 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe © 2012 Kate McMillan. Photo © 2012 Erin Kunkel. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I love this celery root soup! I found the soup to be easy to make and delicate in flavor with a nice sweetness coming from the caramelized apples. It’s fast enough to do on a work night for dinner.

I think I’d love this soup even if I didn’t make the apple part. Definitely worth doing again.

It was a little thick, but a couple tablespoons of 2% milk thinned it out nicely. I didn’t want to use more cream as I thought it might’ve made it a tad too rich. It was still a thick soup but not really pureelike, more like loose applesauce.

I love the texture and taste of celery root and was excited to get to work with it for this pureed soup recipe. Sort of hard to find, but worth the search! I love any recipe that starts with leeks cooking in butter…perhaps one of the best smells ever.

I used 32 ounces of vegetable broth here. After I pureed the leek and celery root mixture, it was pretty thick, so I needed more stock to thin it out. This might just be a personal preference on the texture.

I decided to use a handheld immersion blender instead of a regular blender, so I recommend trying that as well (less clean up!). I really liked the addition of sweet, caramelized apples to this soup. I bet pears would work well, too.

I’d like to try this again with a salty garnish—maybe some pancetta or bacon? Or maybe some crisp fried shallots? Roasted hazelnuts?

This celeriac soup recipe would also work well with turnips, or rutabagas even. Overall this was a wonderful recipe with a blank canvas for potential toppings! I’d serve this again in a heartbeat—would be great for the holidays as well.

This celery root soup recipe was easy to make and I thought the combination of celeriac and caramelized apples was a good one.

I found that the half-and-half was inadequate, as most of the stock had been absorbed by the celeriac and so it needed quite a bit more water added when blending the soup. Given these slight issues, I still thought the soup was very tasty and I’d make it again. I particularly liked the caramelized apples and would like to incorporate them into other dishes.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    When I saw some gorgeous celeriac in the market today, I fired up my cell phone to see what Leite’s Culinaria might suggest. I made this soup tonight, and it was lovely. Very light. The apple garnish really makes it special.

    1. Thank you, Kelly. We’re so pleased that you tried it and loved it. Thanks for taking the time to let us know.