Time to curl up under a cozy blanket and enjoy a warm bowl of soup. This week's pick? A classic cream of celery soup.
Why Celery Makes Such a Great 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 the perfect way to warm up on a chilly day.
How to Buy and Store Celery
Choose celery that has no discoloration with tight, crisp stalks that can break easily when snapped. If stalks are rubbery or fall apart from each other easily, it is not fresh. The leaves should be vibrant green and not wilted.
To store, remove celery from its plastic and tightly wrap the entire bunch in foil. Place in the refrigerator crisper drawer.
Ingredient Swaps for Celery Soup
- No leeks? Increase the onion.
- Don’t do dairy? Simmer a small peeled, diced potato with the soup, which will lend a creamy texture once pureed. (You may need to add a little more stock when you puree the soup.)
- Substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock.
- Add some chopped celery leaves in Step 2 to kick up the celery flavor.
- Add minced ginger.
- Substitute white pepper for the freshly ground black pepper.
How to Store and Reheat This Recipe
Refrigerate leftover soup in a tightly covered container for three to four days. Stir to combine any ingredients that have separated and reheat over medium heat until bubbly but not boiling.
Freeze leftover soup in a freezer-safe zipper bag or container for up to three months. After three months, the soup is still safe to eat from the freezer, but its flavor will begin to fade. Defrost in the refrigerator. Stir to combine any ingredients that have separated and reheat over medium heat until bubbly but not boiling.
More Celery Recipes to Make
- Waldorf Salad
- Bloody Marie Smoothie
- Celery Stir-Fry
- Celery, Blue Cheese, and Hazelnut Salad
- Shaved Vegetable Salad
Cream of Celery Soup
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.
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups sliced leeks, white and light green parts only
1 large bunch or 2 small bunches celery, chopped, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, to taste
1/4 to 1/3 cup cream
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh chopped chives or parsley, for garnish
Saute the onions, leeks, and celery:
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a thick-bottomed 4 to 5 quart pot on medium heat. Add the chopped onion, leeks, 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.
Add the stock, bay leaves, and salt, then simmer:
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 the heat to bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to low and cover to maintain a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Braise the remaining celery to soften:
While the soup is simmering, prepare the extra celery that will be added later to the soup. In a separate small saute pan, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon 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 saute pan. Simmer on low for 5 or 6 minutes to soften the celery. Set aside.
Puree the soup:
Remove the soup pot from the heat, and let cool slightly. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup.
If you don't have an immersion blender, carefully puree the soup in a stand blender in batches. Fill 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 pureed soup to the pot.
Stir in the cream and the braised diced celery:
Taste for salt and add more if needed. Serve hot, sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper and garnished with chopped chives or parsley.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 5|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 15g||20%|
|Saturated Fat 9g||43%|
|Total Carbohydrate 18g||6%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||10%|
|Total Sugars 8g|
|Vitamin C 9mg||43%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|