For a root that looks like a large baseball dusted with dirt, celeriac sure is rich tasting. Celeriac’s flavor is reminiscent of cream-of-celery soup straight out of a Campbell’s can and yet, this funny vegetable needs little cream or butter to a achieve that same velvety taste or texture.

Truffled Crab & Celeriac Soup

Truffled Crab & Celeriac Soup

In fact, for a 2-pound celeriac root, I add 2 pats of butter and 1/3 cup of cream to the liquid base. Could I go without the dairy? Yes. The real reason I add it, is to prevent discoloration to the white flesh after slicing. Another nifty thing about ‘celery root’ (no relation to celery at all) is that it doesn’t have the high starch content of a potato and it won’t turn glue-y when blended.

Dungeness Crab Celeriac Soup

Dungeness Crab Celeriac Soup

Dungeness crab is sort of a religion this time of year in the Bay Area. People stand in lines from vetted purveyors to get the freshest and best crabs. I get mine straight off the boats in Half Moon Bay. Yes, they are still alive and no, I don’t really like that they are still alive but at least I know they won’t get over cooked and I can crack them myself without taking the risk on an unknowledgeable fishmonger pounding the shells carelessly into the flesh.


Dungeness Crab Claws in a Truffled Celery Root Purée

Raw romanesco slivers dot the warmed crab soup with a drizzle of white truffle oil mixed with olive oil. Use the knuckle meat of the crab to mix in to the rest of the soup. Garnish with chervil or chives and enjoy!

Truffled Celeriac Soup with Dungeness Crab & Romanesco


  • 1 leek, white & green part only, chopped
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 2-pounds celeriac, peeled with pairing knife,roughly diced
  • 1.1 liters organic chicken stock (colorless not brown)
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons truffle oil mixed with 2 tablespoons olive oil (it's really strong stuff)
  • 1 2-pounds Dungeness Crab: cooked, cracked & cleaned
  • Florets of Romanesco shaved 1/8-inch thin
  • Chervil or chive to garnish
  •

In a medium sauce pot sweat the shallot & leeks until translucent and soft over mdium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the stock, celeriac, cream, and butter and bring to a simmer. Add the thyme (best to wrap in cheesecloth so it's easy to remove). Simmer until the celery root is soft, about 15 minutes. Remove the thyme and purée the mixture in a Vitamix (do yourself a favor and splurge on this! Best kitchen appliance ever!) adding the liquid little by little. Remember: it's easy to thin out a soup but almost impossible to make it thick again. Season with sea salt. Mix in the crab knuckle meat if desired to the body of the soup.

Warm the remaining crabmeat with a little butter in a small skillet. Arrange in the center of a shallow bowl. Pour the soup all around and garnish with Romanesco slices, chervil, and a small spoon of the white truffle mixture all around.