A totally gluten-free soup that’s so luscious and filling! The fig-feta pesto adds an amazing dimension to the flavor profile.
- Yield: 6 Servings
- 1 large or 2 medium celery roots (celeriac), about 4 pounds (1.8 kg) total
- ⅔ cup (160 ml) extra-virgin Greek olive oil
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- 2 leeks, trimmed, washed well, and chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup (120 ml) ouzo
- 1 cup (240 ml) dry white wine
- 1½ quarts (1.5 L) vegetable broth or water, plus more as needed
- 4 dried Greek figs, stemmed
- ¼ cup (40 g) crumbled Greek feta
- ¼ cup (13 g) chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Greek balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Greek honey or petimezi (grape molasses)
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
How to Make It
- Cut the celery root(s) in half and, using a sharp chef’s knife, slice off the woody peel. Cut the root(s) into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes.
- In a soup pot, heat ¼ cup (60 ml) of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the fennel, leeks, and celery root and season with salt and pepper. Cover and sweat the vegetables over low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, checking them occasionally and turning them in the oil to keep them from burning. Stir in the garlic.
- Carefully pour in the ouzo and wine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add the broth, raise the heat to high, and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with the lid ajar, and simmer the soup for 35 to 40 minutes, until the vegetables are very tender.
- While the soup is simmering, in the bowl of a food processor, combine the figs, feta, parsley, a little pepper, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pulse on and off until broken down into a chunky paste. Set aside.
- Remove the soup from the heat and puree it directly in the pot with an immersion blender. Taste and adjust the seasoning with the vinegar, honey, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Ladle into bowls, garnish each with some fig-feta pesto, a few pomegranate seeds, and a drizzle of the remaining olive oil, and serve.