What would be a good substitute for Calvados in NYTimes Celeriac root soup recipe from Well's Thanksgiving 2010?



pierino January 16, 2012
I'd go with a good cognac or armagnac as a substitute. But calvados is kind of unique. It's one of the few high octane alcoholic beverages I still drink when the opportunity arises, which is not often.
drbabs January 16, 2012
Is this it?

Michael Anthony’s
Celery Root and Chestnut Soup With Brussels Sprouts

As you dig into this soup, with its white, soft and silky base, each bite has a whole new texture, Mr. Anthony explains. “This really complex soup is beautiful and delicious,” he says, “and a great example of what’s falling from the trees and coming out of the garden.”

For the soup:
1 medium onion, diced small
1 stalk celery, diced small
1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil, plus more for sweating the vegetables
1 large bulb celery root, peeled and diced (about 2 1/2 cups)
4 cups milk
Juice from 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons, or to taste)

For the chestnut puree:
5 shallots, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 sprig thyme
12 chestnuts, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 ounce Calvados
2 cups water

To garnish the soup (per serving):
1 tablespoon celery root, diced and blanched
1 teaspoon carrots, diced and blanched
3 turnip pieces, quartered and blanched (about three tablespoons)
2 chestnuts, roasted and diced
2 brussels sprouts, steamed and cut into dice or split into leaves

1. Prepare the soup. Sweat the onions, celery, leeks and garlic in a small amount of olive oil until soft without browning, for about 5 minutes. Add celery root and sweat for 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Add milk and then add water to cover, and simmer for 45 to 50 minutes.

3. Puree the milk mixture in a blender with 1 teaspoon olive oil and lemon juice. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.

4. Prepare the chestnut puree. Saute shallots, garlic, thyme and chestnuts over medium heat for 1 minute. Deglaze the pan by adding the Calvados. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add water and simmer until tender. Puree the mixture in a blender, adding water to adjust consistency.

5. To plate (per serving): Pour 5 ounces (5/8 cup) of celery root soup and 1/4 cup of chestnut puree into each bowl. Garnish each bowl with diced celery root, carrots, turnips, roasted chestnuts and brussels sprouts.

Yield: Serves 8.

It only calls for 1/2 ounce of Calvados. You could probably use any liquor you like.
utchimama January 15, 2012
What about bourbon?? Will it work too?
Cristina S. January 15, 2012
I can't find that recipe online, but I'm sure you could use Cognac or maybe an apple brandy, if you have it.
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