Apple Celeriac Soup with Pork Belly

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From Chef Derek Ronspies

Serves 8 l active time 35 minutes

celeriac and prok belly soupFor the soup

2 pounds celeriac, peeled, 2-inch dice
1/2 yellow onion, 2-inch dice
2 Fuji apples, peeled, cored, 2-inch dice
2 cloves garlic
1 cup white wine
1 stick butter (4 ounces), softened
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar

For the pork belly

1/2 pound pork belly
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon salt

For the vinaigrette

1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 pinch salt

For the garnish

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound kale, ribs removed, julienned
other half of yellow onion, julienned
1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 300°F.

In a large pot, add celeriac, onion, apples, garlic, and wine and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then down to a simmer for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all seasonings for the pork belly, rub the belly with olive oil, and massage the spice rub into the meat. Place on a sheet pan fitted with a rack, fat side up, and cook in the oven for approximately 60 minutes until a knife glides through it.

Meanwhile, use a blender to combine all ingredients for the pecan vinaigrette, and set aside.

When the celeriac is tender, put the solids for the soup into a blender, reserving the liquid. Working in batches, without over-filling, add butter and buttermilk, and enough liquid to cover, blending on high for 2 to 3 minutes. Add reserved liquid as needed to allow a smooth puree. Transfer to a pot and season with salt and sugar to taste, adding reserved liquid if the soup is too thick.

In a large saute pan on high heat, add olive oil, and when it starts to smoke, saute the kale and half onion quickly, 2 minutes at the most, so the kale still has a little crunch.

Ladle soup into 4 bowls warmed in the oven, and place a small nest of kale in the middle of each bowl for the pork belly to sit upon. Cut the belly into a 1- by 2-inch rectangle, then slice into pieces, placing them atop the kale. Spoon pecan vin over belly and around soup, about a tablespoon each. There will be vinaigrette left over, perfect for a salad.

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