Yosemite Celariac Soup

“This is served by Chef Percy in the Great Bracebridge Hall at the Ahwahnee Lodge in Yosemite, California. A little history: In the early 1920's, Stephen Mather, the National Park Service Director, realized that the Park needed accommodations to suit the affluent and influential traveler. The concept of a hotel such as The Ahwahnee became the impetus to draw such a visitor. The site for The Ahwahnee, once a village of the native Miwoks, was chosen because of its exposure to the sun and stunning views of Yosemite's icons – Half Dome, Yosemite Falls and Glacier Point. In July 1925, Gilbert Stanley Underwood was selected as the architect for Yosemite's new luxury hotel. Due to its remote location, the construction of The Ahwahnee was the most complex trucking endeavor of its day. Over 5,000 tons of stone, 1,000 tons of steel, and 30,000 feet of timber were hauled over the challenging mountain roads. To protect The Ahwahnee from fire, a fate of many of the Park's earlier hotels, its wood-like facade is actually concrete, poured into rough-hewn wooden forms and stained to look like redwood. Today, The Ahwahnee is a major attraction to visitors to Yosemite as they explore this unique relationship of architecture and nature.”
1hr 35mins
2 quarts

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Roast garlic by slicing off the top of the whole head. Place in the center of a 8”X12” piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle a teaspoon or so of olive oil over the sliced area. Bring the corners of the foil up together and gather them up into a cone. Place in oven for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool. Simply squeeze the roasted garlic cloves or pulp out of the garlic head and reserve for remainder of the recipe.
  3. Preheat a 4 qt sauce pan over medium heat. Saute diced onions in whole butter until the onions turn translucent, but not brown. Add marsala and cook for 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except heavy cream. Bring to simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until vegetables are very soft.
  4. Remove from heat. Remove star anise and bay leaf and blend with a hand blender until smooth. Strain through a fine meshed strainer. Season with salt and white pepper to desired taste. Place back into sauce pot and keep warm.
  5. Just before serving, add heavy cream and stir until incorporated. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
  6. Serve garnished with a nice extra virgin olive oil, sliced truffles, sliced chives, sourdough croutons or crostini, a dollup of crème fraiche or a drizzle of white truffle oil.
  7. Enjoy!

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