Celery Root, Celery Seed, and Mussel Bisque

Aimee Olexy

Talula's Table, Talula’s Garden, The Love and Talula’s Daily, Philadelphia

Various parts of the celery plant give this rich bisque an earthy edge.


Mussels and Broth:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 small fennel bulb, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 cups water
  • 24 Prince Edward mussels, cleaned and bearded


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small celery root, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 2 peeled cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • Salt to taste

To Serve:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons celery seed
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Torn crusty bread for serving


Make the broth: heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the celery, onions, fennel, and garlic. Sauté until softened and golden, about 7 minutes. Add the white wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Add the mussels and cover the pot. Cook just until the mussels have opened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Use tongs to transfer the mussels to a plate. (Discard any mussels that don’t open.) Strain the broth and reserve. Remove the mussel meat from most the shells, leaving a few in the shells for garnish. Discard the shells.

In the same pot, make the bisque. Add the olive oil and warm over medium heat. Add the celery root, celery, onions, and garlic. Sauté until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved mussel broth. Simmer gently, until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor; blend until smooth. Strain the soup through a fine-mesh sieve. Stir in the half-and-half. Season with salt to taste.

Divide the soup among serving bowls. Top each serving with reserved mussels. Sprinkle with celery seed and lemon zest. Serve with bread on the side.


6 servings