From Olive Oil Synergies

 

Photo by Chris Schmauch

Cori Goudge-Ayer, chef-partner at Persephone in Aptos, California, created this recipe to feature this season’s extra-virgin olive oil made by her neighbors at Wild Poppies.

Serves 4–6

For the soup

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • Pinch salt and black pepper
  • 1 medium-large celery root, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 leeks, washed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the gremolata

  • 3 stalks green garlic, sliced ¼-inch thick on a diagonal
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • Pinch salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white wine
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

Sweat the onions with the thyme in oil with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add celery root and cook for 2 minutes. Add the leeks, water, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook until the celery root is very tender, about 20–30 minutes.

Make the gremolata while the soup cooks: Sauté the green garlic in the neutral oil with a pinch of salt and pepper until tender. Stir in the white wine, cooking until wine has evaporated. Transfer green garlic to a bowl and let cool. Add the zest, parsley, and sherry vinegar. Combine and taste, adjusting seasoning as needed. Set aside.

Once the soup is cooked, remove the bay leaves and thyme stems. Add the lemon juice and ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil and pureé with an immersion blender until smooth. (If using a countertop blender, purée carefully in batches so the hot soup doesn’t explode up out of the blender.) Taste, adding more lemon juice, salt, and pepper as desired.

To serve, ladle the hot soup into bowls, top with the gremolata, and drizzle liberally with extra-virgin olive oil.