Celeriac & Apple Soup with Blue Cheese Toasts


Celeriac & Apple Soup with Blue Cheese Toasts
Makes: Eight 1 cup servings with 1 cheese toast a
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours

2 pounds celeriac (celery root)
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
3 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 t salt, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 t chopped fresh thyme
2 t finely chopped garlic
1 medium russet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and chopped
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups water
1/4 t freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 t ground pepper

8 slices baguette (1/4-inch), preferably whole-wheat
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
8 t crumbled Gorgonzola or other mild blue cheese

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 450°F.
Cut one end of celeriac to create a flat surface to keep it steady, then cut off the skin, following
the contour of the root. (Or use a vegetable peeler and peel around the root at least three times to ensure all the fibrous skin has been removed.) Cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Cut apples into 1-inch wedges. Toss the celeriac and apples in a large bowl with 2 Tsp oil and 1/4 t salt until well coated. Spread out on a baking sheet. Roast, stirring once or twice, until lightly browned and tender, 35 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 T oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and thyme; cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened but have not colored, about 5 minutes. Add chopped garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add potato, broth, water, nutmeg, pepper and the remaining 3/4 t salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover and cook until the vegetables smash easily when pressed against the side of the pot, 35 to 40 minutes. Add the celeriac mixture to the pot. Blend the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. (Or transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.)
To prepare toasts: About 15 minutes before you’re ready to serve, preheat oven to 400°.
Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and bake until toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Rub them with the garlic, then top with cheese. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes.
Serve the soup topped with a cheese toast.