Celery Root Barley Soup

Celery Root Barley Soup
Co-op Shopper Lorri Thompson (of Imagine Yoga by the Sea) got this recipe from her mom many years ago.

1/4 cup pearl barley (I’ve also successfully used spelt or farro)
3 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
2 medium onions, sliced (at least 2 cups)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium/large celery root, peeled and diced (about 5 cups)
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
salt & pepper, to taste

Stir barley and salt into 3 cups water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 45 min. or until grain is tender. Drain and set aside.

In a heavy saucepan or soup pot, saute the onion in 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add celery root and saute another 5 min. Add stock, and season with salt/pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20-30 min. or until celery root is tender.
Puree soup using an immersion blender, food processor or blender. Return soup to pan (if using a food processor or blender), add cooked grain, stir well, and heat to serve.

Serving suggestion: Top with garlic croutons or serve with naan topped with blue cheese.

Note: this soup will thicken as it cools. If making it ahead, just add water or stock to desired consistency.