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"We call this Thanksgiving soup at my house because it has all the flavors of that American holiday in one smooth bowl," says Curtis Stone. "It looks unassuming with its pale, creamy color, but each spoonful is full of flavor. For a vegetarian version, switch out the chicken broth for vegetable broth." Serve it with his Kitchen Sink Salad and Cheesy Damper (an Australian soda bread) for a simple, comforting meal at Thanksgiving or anytime it's cold out.
Note: The soup can be made a day ahead, then cooled, covered and refrigerated. Rewarm, covered, over low heat, adding more broth, if necessary.
In a large heavy saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute for about 2 minutes, or until translucent. Add the celery root, broth, milk, cream, 2 of the thyme sprigs, the bay leaf and salt and bring to a gentle simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer very gently, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for about 35 minutes, or until the celery root is tender enough to mash with a spoon. Remove from the heat and remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
Working in batches and using a slotted spoon, transfer the celery root and shallots to a blender (preferably a high-powered one) and blend until smooth, adding enough of the cooking liquid to form a smooth and creamy soup (you may not need all the liquid). Return the pureed soup to the pot and rewarm over low heat before serving.
Just before serving, in a small skillet over medium heat, swirl the remaining 2 tablespoons butter for about 3 minutes, or until melted and golden brown. Remove from the heat.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Pluck the leaves off the remaining 2 thyme sprigs and sprinkle the leaves over the soup. Drizzle with the browned butter and serve.