Home » Mark Bittman’s Creamy Curried Celery Root Soup – Vegetarian Style

Mark Bittman’s Creamy Curried Celery Root Soup – Vegetarian Style

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My husband, Jeremy, has been following Mark Bittman for some time. Bittman is a food writer for the New York Times. He also creates a cooking show podcast called, The Minimalist. We enjoy taking a break to watch these brief and informative shows.

We came across a video for this recipe a few weeks ago and I vowed to make it. The star was a root vegetable, celery root or celeriac, that I had never used before. As you might have read on Thursday’s post, we found our celery root at the Saturday Farmer’s Market. Score!

If you haven’t watched his podcast, The Minimalist, I highly recommend you do. Click here to watch the episode where he makes this soup. Watching this not only inspired me to buy celery root but also to fulfill a goal to use more unfamiliar spices.

His videos are wonderful and always inspiring. The recipes shown contain 5 to 10 ingredients and keeping with the minimalist mantra take at the most 5 minutes to watch. Jeremy and I enjoy watching Mark create something that may seem complex in a very short time frame. The secret to that is two fold: video editing and a prepped recipe.

Prepping a recipe means reading it, envisioning what you have to do and laying out your prepared ingredients. If the recipe calls for a chopped onion – chop it, etc. Completing this will ensure you have all the required ingredients before you start and find yourself missing something vital half way through the recipe. What? That would never happen, right? 😉

It’s happened to me. I never used to see the value in having all the ingredients ready to go, like in a cooking show, but after practicing if for awhile I found it pays off and saves time.

I started by cutting around the celery root with my kitchen knife to take off the skin and roots. Due to the root crevices there are areas where you’ll want to cut off 1/4″ thick or so. The texture of the peeled celery root is amazing! It is silky smooth. Even though I thought it looked like a jicama or a potato it felt very similar to a peeled diakon radish. I forgot to try a raw piece. Bummer!


Mark Bittman’s Creamy Curried Celery Root Soup – Vegetarian Style


    • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter (for vegan use coconut oil)
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced (not in original recipe)
    • 1 tablespoon curry powder
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • Salt and black pepper
    • 1 1/2 pounds celery root, peeled and cut into 1- to 2-inch chunks (I have no idea how much ours weighed, I just know it was HUGE and probably around or over 8 cups)
    • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water (I used 3 cups almond milk + 3 cups water)
    • 1/2 to 1 cup cream, half-and-half, or milk, or to taste (skipped this)
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish


    1. Taken from The Minimalist Source: The New York Times
    2. Put the butter or coconut oil in a large, deep pot over medium-high heat. When it’s melted, add the onion and garlic and cook until they begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and cumin and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
    3. Add the celery root and stir just to coat it in the spices, then add the stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat so that the stock bubbles gently and cook, stirring occasionally, until the celery root is fully tender, 15 to 20 minutes more.
    4. Cool the mixture slightly, pour into a blender, and purée carefully, or use an immersion blender to purée the soup in the pan. Return the soup to the pan and stir in the cream; reheat if necessary. Taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve garnished with the herb.

    It turned out delicious and so creamy!

    I was super relieved after subbing in water and almond milk, but they were perfect.

    This would be fun to try as a blended raw soup. Mostly because it would cut down on the cooking time and preserve more of the nutrients. Either way, it’s a tasty whole foods plant based dish. I hope you try it.

    What new vegetables have you tried this week? You know mine, I would love to hear yours.


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