" Trading Places" Celery Root of All Evil Soup with Pork Belly Croutons

Invest in your future by eating this delicious and healthy soup. Take stock in the fact that it is as good as it gets!


For the vegetable stock:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves crushed, unpeeled garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 stocks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 1/2 bunch parsley stems
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 quarts cold water

For the soup:

  • 1 large celery root (also called celeriac), peeled and diced
  • 1 medium yellow potato, peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium leek, thinly sliced
  • 1 sprig each: thyme and tarragon, tied together with a piece of string
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 lb pork belly (bacon), diced
  • 2 cups cubed french bread
  • an uncanny, innate sense of global commodities


1. Combine the olive oil, leeks, garlic and salt in a stock pot over medium-low heat. Cook slowly without browning for 10 minutes.

2. Add the celery, fennel, parsley stems, peppercorns, bay leaf and white wine; cook until the wine reduces by half, then cover with the cold water and bring to a boil.

3. Once the stock reaches a boil, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered anywhere from 30-45 minutes (although a longer cooking time generally yields a more highly flavored stock, there is no penalty for early withdrawal).

4. Strain the vegetable stock into a large saucepan. (you may skip steps 1-4 if using a canned stock...not as rich but a recommended stock option)

5. Combine the celery root, leek, onion, potato and the bundled herb sprigs with the vegetable stock.

6. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are quite soft, about 30 minutes.

7. Meanwhile,call your broker, if pork bellies are up, proceed to the next step. (if pork bellies are down, consider diversifying your ingredients and attempting this recipe during the next fiscal year)

8. Fry pork belly until crisp; drain all but one tablespoon of grease from the pan and stir in bread cubes. Cook, stirring often until golden brown. Set aside.

9. Remove the bundles herbs from the soup; puree mixture in a food processor or blender.

10. Stir in the cream; check and correct seasonings to taste. Cover and keep warm.

11. Call your guests to the table, if their interest remains at an all time high, divide soup into four bowls, garnish with pork belly croutons and ask yourself again: "How can anything so inherently evil taste so good?"

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