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Excellent soup; can be made vegetarian
3 slices bacon (can be omitted)
1 large celeriac, about 1 pound, peeled with a knife and coarsely chopped
1 medium waxy potato, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 cups chicken broth or water
10 fresh thyme sprigs
1 large bunch parsley
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
dash of good balsamic
4 slices white bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup melted butter or olive oil or combo
1. If using bacon, cook in 4 quart pot over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon and set aside. Add celeriac, potato and onion and saute for a few minutes (if not using bacon, just add celeriac directly with liquid).
2. Add chicken stock or water. Tie thyme, parsley and bay leaf in a bundle and add to pot.
3. Bring to a slow simmer and cover pot. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until potato and celeriac are easy to crush against side of pot with spoon.
4. Strain soup through a food mill or puree in blender. Then strain through a fine-mesh strainer. (Can be made through this point a day ahead.)
5. Add heavy cream, season with salt, pepper and a dash of balsamic.
6. Garnish with croutons (see below) and cooked bacon.
To make croutons, toss bread with butter/oil in saute pan over medium heat until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Also really good garnished with duck confit and julienned apples (instead of bacon and croutons).