Creamy Celery Soup

While much of the country digs out from several feet of snow, here in Sacramento the weather is finally beginning to act like winter. Thank you rain! Time to curl up under a cozy blanket and enjoy a warm bowl of soup. This week’s pick? A classic creamy celery soup.

Like cabbage, celery is an oft neglected vegetable, prized for its place in a mirepoix, but rarely the star of the show. Which is silly when you think about it, given how good celery is in soups. (Can you imagine chicken soup without it?) Celery soup, with a supporting cast of some onion, leeks, and a little cream, is utterly delicious, and a great way to warm up on a chilly day.

Creamy Celery Soup

Creamy Celery Soup Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 5

Taste the raw celery you plan to use in this soup. The celery should be fresh and good on its own, not old or bitter. If you have a particularly tough or bitter bunch of celery, please don't use it in this soup, find another use for it.

Yum

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp butter, divided into 2 Tbsp and 1 Tbsp
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced leeks, white and light green parts only
  • 5 cups of chopped celery, and 1 1/2 cups of diced celery  (from one large bunch of celery or two small bunches)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon to 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup of cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Fresh chopped chives or parsley for garnish

Method

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1 Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a thick-bottomed 4 to 5 quart pot on medium heat. Add the diced onion, the leaks, and 5 cups of the chopped celery. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes until softened. Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute more.

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2 Add the chicken stock and bay leaves to the pot. Taste for salt and add salt. (If you are using unsalted butter and unsalted stock, you will need to add more salt than you expect, if not, maybe just a little salt will be needed.) Increase heat to bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover to maintain a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes.

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3 While the soup is simmering, prepare the extra celery that will be added later to the soup. In a separate small sauté pan, melt 1 Tbsp of butter on medium heat. Add 1 1/2 cups diced celery to the butter. Ladle 1/2 cup of the simmering stock from the soup pot into the sauté pan. Simmer on low for 5 or 6 minutes to soften the celery. Set aside.

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4 Remove the soup pot from heat, let cool slightly. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender, filling the blender no more than a third full at a time (keep your hand on the lid so the hot liquid doesn't explode). Return the puréed soup to the pot. Stir in the cream and the braised diced celery.

Taste for salt and add more if needed. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and chopped chives or parsley to serve.

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Links:

Chunky Celery Soup from Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks

Creamy Celery Soup

Showing 4 of 36 Comments

  • Rebecca

    This looks heavenly! I look forward to making some this week. And no, I can’t imagine chicken soup without celery. I’m curious, however, how come you’re not suggesting an immersion blender for this. I’m always looking for recipes to use my SmartStick on, but I find that you often recommend a blender instead. What are your thoughts regarding blender vs immersion blender? The SmartStick is just so much more fun to use!

  • Courtney

    Perfect timing! I have an unusually large glut of celery from my last two CSA deliveries right now, and it’s freezing. Definitely making this sooner rather than later.

  • Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody)

    I often buy way too much celery, intending to use it for vegetarian spaghetti bolognese and I convince myself I will find a use for the remainder. This never happens and I’m sorry to say I’ve binned my fair share of celery over the years. I have a feeling this soup can help me with my problem, it looks wonderful!

  • holunderlily

    This looks so delicious! I’ll definitely try it. If you love celery, try frying slices of celery root in a bread crumb/egg coat like a schnitzel, it’s great!! You’ll never want a real schnitzel again ;-)

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