Celeriac & Pear Soup

Thick and warming autumnal soup made with celeriac. Fragrant pears add a subtle sweetness, complemented by a delicious walnut garnish. A Dairy-free recipe.

Celeriac and Pear Soup

Celeriac is a knobbly root vegetable that comes into season in the autumn. The root tendrils and the thick skin need to be sliced off, which means that about a quarter of the net weight is lost during preparation. It has an anise-like flavour which is similar to celery, and quite distinctive. This makes it ideal for soups and stews, where more delicately-flavoured vegetables can get lost. Unlike most root vegetables, it is not very starchy, so does not need to be cooked for a long time to be made digestible. It can be grated and eaten raw in salads (like in this Carrot & Celeriac Coleslaw recipe), boiled and mashed like potato (like in this Celeriac & Parsnip Mash recipe), or sliced and baked as a gratin to bring out a sweet, nutty flavour (like in this Steak & Kidney Pie with Celeriac Crust recipe).

cooking time
Celeriac & Pear Soup


  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (I used olive oil)
  • 2 banana shallots (130g), peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large celeriac head (about 1kg net), peeled and chopped into 3 cm cubes
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 litre (1 3/4 pints) homemade chicken stock (use vegetable stock for a vegan option)
  • 3 pears (550g), peeled, cored and roughly chopped

optional garnish:

  • crushed walnuts


  1. Heat the cooking oil in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the shallots, celery, garlic and salt. Sweat, uncovered, for 10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent but not browned.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the pear (celeriac, thyme, bay leaves, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and stock). Cover, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer until the celeriac is fork tender – about 25 minutes.
  3. Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Add the pear. Transfer to a blender in batches, and blitz to the smooth puree.
  4. Transfer the soup back to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  5. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve hot, with a sprinkling of crushed walnuts.




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