Creamy Celery Soup

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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

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  • 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.

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

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Showing 4 of 36 Comments

  • Little Bits of Now

    I tried making this soup and it taste really nice! The soup itself is really creamy so that i find the cream is not necessary to be added. Thanks for sharing this recipe! Definitely will make this again!

  • pam

    Elise,

    i got this soup mixed up with the other celery root & fennel soup so misread the ingredients

    so i used celery root instead + potato.
    i also had some pancetta that i did not want to waste, i sauteed pancetta & use the fat instead of butter.

    it was really good. pancetta makes it peppery

    i also used homemade chicken broth from chicken feet.
    (celery root is far from my favorite vegetable. cause very hard to cut; last time i did celery roots; i got tendonitis on my right arm & wrist after cutting like 3 of them; took a month to feel not achey)

    cheers,

  • MDR

    I made this yesterday and was blown away by this beautiful soup. FYI, I didn’t have cream but found it was totally creamy enough without it and wouldn’t necessarily bother. I happened to have fresh bay leaves on hand and I honestly think it made such a difference. That fragrant, surprising strong bay leaf (I used just one to not overpower the soup) combined with the flavour of celery is the stuff made of dreams. Will definitely be making it again and often!

  • Annemarie

    Does this freeze well?

  • Rob Wilson

    I was a little lazy so I used chicken noodle soup, I put all ingredients in the blender then added to chicken n/soup, plus I added some nutmeg. I didn’t remove the fibrous elements instead I put tablespoon of ice cream in each bowl to remove the bitterness. everyone loved it.

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