Of all of the dishes I created for our Parlez Vous Francais, Y’all dinner, I think this is the one of which I’m most proud. It started as a veloute, moved to a creamy soup, and then – with the input from one of my most trusted food advisers – turned into a puree with a sugar crusted top served alongside crunchy and flavorful pecans.
The dish on it’s own is delicious. The addition of the crunchy pecans is a great play in texture contrast. But torching the top to make a savory creme brulee transformed it into an elegant dish, despite the fact that it was served in a 4 ounce jam jar resulting in a second course that was a little French, a little southern, and made for a lot of happy dinner guests.
Celery Root Creme Brulee
- 3 cups cubed celery root (about 3-4 pounds)
- 3 cups chopped parsnips (about 4-5)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 cups whole milk
- granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss celery root and parsnips with olive oil and roast for 40 minutes.
- Add roasted vegetables, stock, salt, and pepper into a large stock pot over medium-high heat.
- Simmer for 30 minutes and remove from heat.
- Let cool for at least 30 minutes. Working in four batches, puree the soup with 1/2 cup of milk until thick and creamy.
- Pour the puree into individual heatproof containers and let cool completely.
- If torching the tops, sprinkle with sugar, place on a baking sheet, and set under a high broiler until brown. Iyou have a kitchen torch and aren’t scared to use it (that thing terrifies me!), by all means, torch those little guys.
- 2 cups fresh packed basil
- 4 small cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups raw pecans
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Blend the basil and garlic in a food processor until combined. With the processor running, pour the olive oil in a slow stream.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium mixing bowl and salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss pecans with the pesto until thoroughly coated.
- Spread pecans on a baking sheet and roast for 12-15 minutes until crisp.
Notes: This nutrition calculations are based on 10 servings. The amount of servings really depends on how large your serving dishes are. You can certainly serve this soup without torching the top and without the pecans. Speaking of the pecans, this recipe will make more than you need to accompany this dish. But you’ll want extra for snacking and saving for salads.
What you’ll need: Two baking sheets, a large stock pot, a very powerful blender, a food processor, and heatproof serving dishes.
What you want to know: One serving of the creme brulee without the pecans is 102 calories, 8 grams of carbs, 5.3 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and 2 Weight Watchers points.