Edible Monterey Bay

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Celery Root and Apple Soup with Brown Butter Crab


My husband and I love to go to The Stationaery in Carmel and were thrilled when the café started serving dinner. We attended its first-ever dinner service, and a gigantic bowl of this stunning soup was the first dish that was set before us. The smooth soup brimmed with buttery Dungeness crab, making it reminiscent of an elevated, modern crab bisque. This is an easy-to-make-at-home version of that spectacular dish.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
5 cups low-sodium chicken stock, plus more if needed
1 (1½ pounds) celery root, peeled and chopped
3 medium granny smith apples, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon garam masala
Pinch of black pepper


4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup Dungeness crab meat
2 tablespoons chives, chopped

Warm oil and butter in a large pot over mediumhigh heat. Cook the onion for about 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Stir in the stock, celery root, apple, salt, garam masala and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.

Working in batches, blend in a high-powered blender until completely smooth, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Do not overblend or it may become starchy.

Return the soup to the pot and heat over medium to re-warm.

To cook the crab, melt butter in a skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently until it browns, 4–6 minutes. Add the crab to the soup and stir to warm through.

Pour the soup into bowls, and gently spoon the crab and browned butter over top. Sprinkle with chives. Serves 4–6.

About the author

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Carmel resident Caroline Chambers grew up in North Carolina, where she was raised on the robust flavors of the South. She has owned and operated a farm-to-table catering company in San Diego and has worked as a recipe developer and stylist for publications and brands including The New York Times, Robert Mondavi Wine, Food Network and MagicChef. Her first cookbook, Just Married (Chronicle Books), was published in October 2018.