Once a week, I have a mini-potluck lunch with my friends Shoshi and Emma (Emita to avoid confusion). It’s always delicious and intriguing. We share spoons and swap secret ingredients. On one rendezvous Shoshi enlightened us with this gorgeous Celeriac Soup! Another root cleared out of the vegetable drawers for spring produce. (See what celeriac looks like.)

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Celeriac and Juniper Berry Soup


  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped coarsely
  • 2.5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked sea salt
  • 6 cups water, boil separately on high (in your tea kettle is fastest)
  • 3 teaspoons white pepper berries
  • 6 juniper berries
  • 1 teaspoon anise seed
  • 1 large celeriac root, coarsely chopped into large chunks more or less 1 square inch
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 1 fat pinch dried dill leaves


  1. In a cast iron pan or small sauce pan, add the white pepper and juniper berries. Toast until the aroma becomes strong, keeping a close eye not to burn. Grind coarsely with a mortar and pestle, or a molcajete.
  2. Heat the oil in a dutch oven or large pot on medium-high. Once hot, add the onions and salt and saute until golden brown.
  3. Add the ground spices and anise seeds to the onions. Stir for about three minutes to combine the flavors.
  4. Add the water, stir, and cover with a lid to bring everything to a rolling boil more quickly.
  5. When boiling, add the celeriac root, nutmeg and dill.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for thirty minutes covered with a lid.
  7. Check to see if the celeriac is fork soft after thirty minutes. If so, blend the soup in a blender or with a food processor (you may have to do this in batches, transferring the blended batch to a big bowl) or immersion blender.
  8. Serve with a dollop of plain yogurt and sprinkle with more freshly ground nutmeg and dill.

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