We had so much fun getting to know James restaurant’s chef-owner Bryan Calvert for our profile in the Summer 2017 issue of Upstater that we asked him to share a delicious dinner recipe for the fall.
He recommended this celery root soup, perfect for a dinner party on a cool autumn evening. He says, “This soup’s celery root base is satisfying with nothing more than a drizzle of olive oil and slice of crusty bread. I like to top it off with smoked trout, quick curry oil, and a little crunch from pears.
Celery Root Soup with Trout, Pear, & Curry Oil
Serves 6 to 8
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large celery root, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
- 2 large shallots, peeled and diced
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 4 cups Vegetable Stock (page 000)
- 1 bay leaf
- Fine sea salt and fresh white pepper
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 slightly under-ripe Bosc or Anjou pear, cut intomatchsticks (about 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 8 ounces smoked trout, cleaned, shredded into bite-size pieces
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
In a large pot, melt the butter over low-medium heat. Add the celery root, shallots, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. If the vegetables start to brown, reduce the heat to low.
Add the white wine and cook until it’s almost completely reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the stock, bay leaf, ¼ teaspoon of salt and two turns of freshly ground pepper. Increase the heat to medium and continue cooking at a gentle simmer, until the celery root is soft and tender, about 30 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, whisk together the curry, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Set aside for at least 20 minutes, so the curry infuses the oil.
In a medium bowl, combine the pear with the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Gently mix in the trout and herbs, keeping the trout in nice, flaky pieces.
Working in batches if necessary, puree the celery root mixture in a blender until smooth and creamy. Return to the pot over medium heat and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle the hot soup into individual soup bowls. Float the trout and pear salad in the center of the soup bowl. Drizzle the curry oil around the trout salad and serve.
This recipe was originally printed in Calvert’s cookbook Brooklyn Rustic: Simple Food for Sophisticated Palates published by Little, Brown and Company. The recipe and photos are reprinted here with permission.
Read our profile of Bryan Calvert here.