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Celeriac or celery root soup {Sopa de apio nabo}

This quick and easy creamy celeriac or celery root soup is made with onions, garlic, cumin, celeriac or celery root, potatoes, vegetable, broth, milk, and fresh dill. Served with trio of toppings including crispy pancetta, smoked salmon and roasted pepper yogurt sauce.

Creamy celery root soup with toppings

I have to admit that I was somewhat traumatized by creamed soups when I was a kid. A typical meal in Ecuador would consist of the “primero” or first course, which was always a soup. Followed by the “segundo” or second course, which usually rice with meat, chicken, fish or egg. I always loved certain first course soups like encebollado de pescado, arvejas con guineo, locro de papas , and other traditional Ecuadorian soups. However, I never really liked the “cremas” or pureed soups and I was fortunate that my mom didn’t usually prepare pureed soups.

When I was in elementary school I had to walk about an hour to get from our house to school, so my mom arranged for me to have lunch at one of my classmates house who lived a few minutes away from our school. My friend’s mom loved to make these packaged cream soups. It was considered very rude to not finish your plate, so I had to eat every single bite (which I didn’t always do at home since I was a little bit of a brat). I have since then reconciled myself with creamed soups, as long as they are made from scratch. Though I like to add a little of extra something – as a topping – to keep these soups interesting.

Celeriac or celery root cream soup

I served this celery root soup with three different toppings: crispy fried pancetta or bacon, smoked salmon and a spicy roasted pepper yogurt sauce. Each topping adds a little twist of different flavor to the soup. You can have the soup with just one topping or mix and match as you wish.

Celery root soup

You would think that three toppings would be enough for most people, except for Alex (my 5 year old). He asks me “where’s the avocado?”, so I added an additional topping just for him (sorry no photo). It’a given in our house that soup should always be served with a side of avocado. That should have been sufficient, but no, then he asks “how about some goat cheese?”, so he also had some cheese. I hope he won’t be traumatized and 20 years later start writing about all the soup toppings he had to endure, and how he just wanted a basic packaged cream soup.

Celery root soup

Celery root soup {Sopa de apio nabo}

Easy and quick recipe for celery root soup or cream of celeriac soup, made with potatoes, vegetable broth, garlic, onions, cumin and dill. Served with trio of toppings including crispy pancetta, smoked salmon and roasted pepper yogurt sauce.
4.75 from 4 votes
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Course: Appetizer, Soup, Starter
Cuisine: American, Ecuadorian inspired, Fusion, Latin, South American
Keyword: Celeriac, Celeriac cream, Celery root, Celery root soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 celery roots peeled and chopped in medium pieces
  • 2 potatoes peeled and chopped in medium pieces
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 bunch dill chopped
  • Salt to taste

Ideas for soup toppings:


  • Heat the olive oil in large saucepan and add the onions, garlic, cumin and salt to make a quick refrito or sofrito (sautéed onions/garlic/spices) as the base for this soup, cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the chopped celery roots and potatoes; cook them for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning them.
  • Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, then reduce the temperature and simmer until the potatoes and celery root are tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Let the soup cool down a little and then blend the celery root and potato to obtain a smooth puree.
  • Reheat the soup until warm and add the chopped dill, serve with the topping on the side.
Celery root soup
Celery root soup
Celery root soup
Celery root soup toppings
Celery root soup
Celery root soup with roasted pepper yogurt sauce
Celery root soup with smoked salmon
celery root soup with pancetta
Celery root soup
Celery root soup trio

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  1. My mother is from Venezuela. She pines for this apio soup too. But she insists that apio is NOT celery, although she doesn’t know the English word for it. The dictionary says celery. And everyone I asked about apio told me something different, depending on which latin country they come from. Cubans and Puerto Ricans tended to say celery, not celery root. Maybe it is just a misnomer in the dictionary? But it appears that celery root (CELERIAC) is this mysterious APIO. If you look up the scientific classification of celeriac you will note why in Spanish it is called apio = Kingdom, plant; Order, apiales; Family, apiaceae; Genus, apium. Too bad the english name for apio has the celery word in it because although celery soup is also excellent, it is very different.

  2. My husband is from Caracas, and while visiting family there, I was served Sopa de Apio. I was lucky to find celery root sold in the local grocery store in Memphis, TN. So I quickly purchased it, but had no idea how to prepare it. After many searches online for a recipe that used the root and not the celery rib, I came across your website. This is the lovely soup that I ate in Venezuela. Thank you so much for printing it in English (it saved me the time of translating it on Babelfish.com)

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