Apple & Celery Souptopped with Crispy Prosciutto, Sour Cream, and Chive Oil
Note from Chef Ed:
A great creamy soup is the perfect meal on a cool evening, and this is one of my favorites. The sweet and tart apples are the perfect counterpoint to the savory celery root, and the salty prosciutto topping sets the mouth a-dancing.
¼ cup butter
2 large celery roots (about 2 pounds)
3 apples (about 1 pound, I prefer a mixture of granny smith and red apples, for both sweet and tart flavors)
4 to 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
¼ cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1 small container sour cream
1 package prosciutto
1 small bunch of chives
- Remove the bottom of the leeks, and the outermost leaves. Be sure to clean the leek well, as they are notorious for collecting dirt amongst their layers. Remove the top inch or so of the dark green tops and discard them. Slice the leeks in half lengthwise and the chop them on a bias (that’s fancy way of saying diagonally.)
- Peel and core the apples and peel the celery root and dice them into ½” cubes. Store the apple cubes in a little lemon juice to keep them from browning until ready to use. (Peeling the celery root can be a tad problematic, you will need a knife as well as peeler to get at the really gnarled bunches. Also be sure to remove the top of the root where the celery protrudes.)
- Melt the butter in a Dutch Oven, or large soup pot. Saute the leeks in the butter for two minutes, or until softened. Add the celery root and apples and continue to cook until slightly translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add 4 cups of broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the garnishes. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Cut the prosciutto into ¼” by ½” rectangles, add the rectangles to the skillet and cook until crispy. Remove the prosciutto from the heat onto a paper towel. Also, cut the chives into thirds, and add them and ¼ cup olive oil to a small food processor and puree. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Puree the soup. My favorite method is to take an emulsion blender (about $30, much cheaper than a food processor, and mine came with a mini food processor too. Look for them at Costco) and stick it straight into the soup pot and puree the soup. You may also scoop the soup into a food processor or powerful blender to puree. This method will need to be done in batches, and very carefully, as the soup is hot. Add broth as you puree until the soup reaches your desired consistency. Also add salt and pepper to taste, but do not over salt as the crispy prosciutto will add much of the final saltiness.
- Serve the soup, topped with a dollop of sour cream, a few drops of chive oil and some crispy prosciutto.
All of this can be made a day in advance and reheated before serving. Also makes great leftovers. Just be sure to also save the garnishes.