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.

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

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

1 Sauté onions, leeks, 5 cups of chopped celery: Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a thick-bottomed 4 to 5 quart pot on medium heat. Add the diced onion, the leeks, and 5 cups of the chopped celery.

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Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes until softened. Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute more.

2 Add stock, bay leaves, 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.)

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Increase heat to bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover to maintain a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes.

3 Braise 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 sauté pan, melt 1 Tbsp of butter on medium heat. Add 1 1/2 cups diced celery to the butter.

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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.

4 Purée soup: 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.

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5 Stir in the cream and the braised diced celery.

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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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Comments

  • Carol Fixman

    Do you think I could substitute low fat yogurt for the cream? Or something else?

    • Summer Miller

      Hi Carol — Low-fat yogurt wouldn’t give you the same consistency and it would be a bit tangy. You could reduce the butter by 1 tablespoon, and replace the cream with half and half. It still won’t be quite as velvety as if you used all the butter and cream, but it would still be delicious.

  • Sofia

    Hi! I’m thinking of making this tonight as I have leftover celery in my fridge. I do not have leeks however. Do you think I could make it without leeks by increasing the amount of celery or onions? Or do you recommend a different substitute ?
    Thanks!!

    • Carrie Havranek

      I would increase the onions, or use green onions/scallions if you have them, if possible. Barring that, you could increase the celery. Thanks for your question, Sofia!

  • TONI

    Hi Elise, My husband and I are on a keto diet and was wonder if you have any of the nutrient info. This looks so yummy. I haven’t had cream of celery since I was a kid. Can’t wait!!!

  • Dave Mohr

    This stuff is just Super! I had wanted to learn how to make ‘creme of fill-in-the-blank’ soup for a while, and this was the perfect introduction. Thanks very much!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Dorothy Montes de oca

    OMG made it tonight and my husband and I LOVE it! Do you have recipe for potato leek soup.

  • Judy Crawford

    Made it and omg I’m in love ❤️

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Bex

    I had leftover celery. I really enjoyed this soup with the addition of some chilli.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Joy

    Just so delicious! Made as per recipe, and added less than an eighth of a tsp. red pepper flakes. Will definitely make again !

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Connie

    I really enjoyed this soup. I am making it for a second time for dinner tonight :) I think the recipe is forgiving if you don’t have the exact amounts of celery, leeks or onion, too.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Dana

    Delicious! Made it just as written! Will definitely make again!!

  • Mike Zaleski

    I did not change a thing and it turned out awesome. Everyone loved it and it has quickly become a favorite! My daughters now ask for this to take back to college with them.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Cathy

    Well I had a small orange sweet pepper so I chopped it up and threw it in my instant pot pressure cooker. I didn’t pre salute anything just throw it in my pressure cooker. Pressurized for 15 min could have done with 10. Poured it in my vitamix blender added a bit of cheddar cheese grated on top with a little cream. REally very good. Will make this again.

  • Diane

    I rarely rate the recipes I find on line but HAD to with this one. I grew up on the Campbells soup variety and had fond memories of it (gross, I know)was craving some recently, but thought I’d see if I could find a recipe for one instead. OMG……..didn’t disappoint!

    I substituted 1 large shallot for the garlic and included all the celery leaves (a good 3/4 cup). Probably threw in an extra cup of broth. After pureeing it in the Vitamix, I didn’t even need to add the cream, although I threw in a couple Tbsp just for decadence!
    Tons of black pepper and some parsley and it was perfection! Excellent, Elise!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Monique

    Awesome added shiitake mushrooms and a Smokey turkey stock, gave it a nice base note.

  • Stacey

    Love this recipe! Also love the soup bowl in the pic, may I ask what pattern this is?

    xxxxxyyyyy

    • Elise Bauer

      Thanks Stacey! The bowl pictured is a Ralph Lauren Empire china pattern.

  • Lorene

    great soup!Used all the tops of the celery and followed the recipe : Lovely. Hate waste! And I don’t usually like celery!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Lori

    Fabulous!! And I ended up not adding the cream! Followed it otherwise, and I am running to the store to buy more celery/leeks to make it again. Thanks!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Liz

    I didn’t do precise measurements, but used the ingredients to taste. I loved it.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Dana

    I substituted coconut cream for the cream because my husband and I avoid dairy and we both loved this soup!! Will definitely make it again and again!

    xxxxxyyyyy

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Dana, thanks for sharing your substitution! I’m so glad to know that it works well with coconut cream.

  • karla

    I am an experienced cook, but I cannot figure out what I did wrong. The consistency is off, the closest thing that is of like consistency is applesauce, not the creaminess that I desired. If anyone has a possible suggestion I am willing to try the recipe again. The flavor is there, definitely more adult like. I really wanted this to work, I am making a seafood recipe and it calls for cream of celery soup. FYI, I pureed it long enough, so that is not the problem.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Karla, I’m using a high powered blender which really helps to make the soup smooth. With a regular blender or stick blender, you may need to take the extra step of pushing the soup through a sieve to get a smoother consistency.

    • Erin

      I’ve noticed that if milk boils it becomes the consistency of applesauce. My guess would be that the soup was hot enough to do this to the cream; try letting it cool some more before adding the cream.

    • Judy

      I find if I use the blender and purée its more creamy. If I use my food processor it’s more to the applesauce side. Which did you use??

  • chris

    This soup was really good, will make again. Thanks for posting.

  • Patricia

    Anne, I agree with you totally about the celery leaves! They have SO much flavor! I never toss them out. If I don’t have an immediate use I dry them,. They are great added to potato soup!

  • Márcio

    Oh my god! Delicious! I want to eat it every day now!

  • Brittney

    I’m eating this soup as I type and it is delicious! I made a vegan version by substituting veggie broth for chicken, olive oil for butter, and silken tofu for the cream. I can’t wait to share this with friends!

  • jara

    I made this last night to rave reviews from the entire family. I made two changes- I omitted the cream and used about 2 cups of chickpeas instead of some of the celery. This made a filling and warming winter dinner.

  • Anne

    I forgot to say, i also lopped the leafy top off the bunch right down to the stalks….I find it gives a little more flavour….much better in the soup bowl than the compost bin.

  • Anne

    Cooked it in canned coconut cream…yummy.

  • 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?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Annemarie, I don’t know, I haven’t tried freezing it. But if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you!

    • Anne

      I make gallons of all sorts of soup and individually freeze in chinese food containers….I see nothing in this recipe that I haven’t previously frozen so I’ll give this a whirl….I cook nothing in small ammounts because as much as I love cooking, i also like to whip meals out of the freezer with no effort .

  • 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.

  • Michael Mackin

    I made this soup tonight and it was fantastic. Very creamy and flavorful. I had celery from our CSA that looked a bit rustic and heavy duty and I was worried it would be too strong tasting but it ended up being fine. I did remove the strings from the celery before I made this which was a bit of work, but I think worth it. Definitely will be making this again.

  • Rhea

    Hi Elise,
    It is nice to come across your beautiful and informative site. Just recently started following a low carb diet and I’m quite particular about the counts of carb I have to take per meal.
    You have the number of servings on each recipe but I don’t see the Nutrition Facts. Is there anyway I could I find out how many carbs there is per serving in each recipe.
    There are quite a bit of recipes that I would love to try. I would really
    appreciate it if you are able to help me out.

    Thank you for sharing your family recipes to the public.

    Thank you in advance.
    Rhea

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Rhea, thank you for your kind words about the site! Regarding nutritional information, I simply do not have the time nor the expertise to provide it. You may be able to find some online resources to help you analyze the recipes if you need that information.

      • Carolynn

        My Fitness Pal is great for this.

  • Sheila

    This is a WINNER! I was looking for a celery soup that didn’t use starchy thickeners like potatoes or flour. The flavor is delicious and the contrast between the silky puree and bits of braised celery is just lovely.

  • Sarah

    I know I tend to be in the minority about cooked celery, but I love love love it! My nana has a nice baked celery recipe, so of course I am drawn to this soup and will be giving it a try very soon!

  • Ayan

    What you mean cream? There is 1/3-1/4 cup cream, but I don’t know what kind of cream. It is my first time visiting this site. I was googling some chicken breast recipes and I thank Allah for finding this website. I found all kinds of chicken breast recipes and I want thank you for that. Thanks again

    • Elise Bauer

      Whipping cream. You can find it in the dairy section of the market, next to milk.

  • Heather S.

    I made this recipe last night for dinner and everyone really loved this soup!
    Delicious, delicious, delicious! It is creamy (I used my Vitamix- worked perfectly) and flavorful but mild and not overpowering. Since my kids have a cold- this was a great staying-in, winter dinner. I will be making this again and sharing this recipe. The only change I made was using Olive Oil instead of butter. I also used homemade chicken stock which added to the flavor. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Elise Bauer

      I’m so glad you liked it Heather!

      • Gina

        I have some celery I bought for chicken salad but never used and now it’s soft. Can I use it for this or need to just throw it out?

        • Emma Christensen

          Hi, Gina! If it’s only soft, and not yet browned or slimy, then you can definitely use it for this recipe. Actually, this recipe is a great way to use up a bunch of celery that’s gone a little past its prime. Enjoy!

  • just me

    It was delicious! Thank you :)

  • Lauri

    We loved this! Thanks for a great inspiration.

  • Chris S.

    This recipe doesn’t just look good; it IS good! My husband followed it exactly when making cream of celery soup for me this evening as a gift. It’s fabulous — light, yet extremely flavorful. I’m presently savoring the first two cups’ worth in my bowl and will definitely be tempted to have more.

    Incidentally, my husband DID use a stick blender, and yes, I’m sure there were bits that escaped treatment, but, because of the separate celery added toward the end that’s not blended anyway, any escapees weren’t noticeable at all. I, too, typically get soup all over the counter whenever pureeing using a regular blender. Consequently, I’ve switched 100% to a stick blender, even for my famous cream of asparagus soup. Good food is not incompatible with adapting one’s methods to new times! :)

    Thanks, Elise — magical, as always.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    • Chris S.

      P.S. My husband, who recently rejoined Weight Watchers, has just admitted that he left out the cream and instead added an entire can of evaporated skim milk. Might be worth trying, folks — it certainly fooled me! :)

    • Patricia

      Chris, I too have started using an immersion blender for these types of tasks! I am such a klutz and I hate the waste when I end up with my delicious soup all over the counter! SO much easier and you’re right who cares about the escapees who don’t get pureed!

  • Mona

    Tried the recipe yesterday and it was a success! Delicious indeed! Will definitely make it again.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Arcey

    It’s nice to add a knob of celery root to the mix. You can chunk it for the puree, and then add small dice for garnish or as part of the soup for texture. I would use a stick/wand blender on this, and then strain it if it’s fibrous (which it probably will be). Haven’t made cream of celery for awhile, so thanks for the reminder! It’s very good and very comforting.

  • Sandy S

    MMMM! … This sounds just right! Especially with the leeks that you have included. And, what a pretty presentation!
    I need this recipe as I love celery but have never made cream of celery soup from scratch. I am so encouraged that I can ‘Just do it!’ with your pictures and instructions. Celery is sort of my ‘go to’ item when I’m dealing with a nagging appetite or need something quick. I use it to hold tuna salad, egg salad, and various soft cheeses to say nothing of peanut butter. Very satisfying without weighing me down. If the celery has gotten big and tough, I sometimes slice it very fine and add it to tuna salad or a cooked recipe.

  • 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 ;-)

    • Chris S.

      Your celery root schnitzel is a great idea — will definitely try that sometime. How lovely!

  • 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!

    • Elise Bauer

      Celery is rather fibrous, even when cooked, so it might be a bit difficult to get to the smooth purée you want with an immersion blender. If it works for you, great!

      • Courtney

        I ripped the ‘strings’ out of my celery before chopping and used an immersion blender to puree. More prep time on the front end (5-10 minutes for 5 cups worth), but worth it if you want to avoid the regular blender.

        For those of you who are fond of measuring ingredients by weight, I found that a cup of chopped celery weighs about 125 grams (a shade under 4.5 oz).

        Thanks for another great recipe, Elise!

        • Paul M.

          My perspective exactly, Courtney. I find the outer stringy part is where the bitter, fibrous elements are that can be conveniently discarded with a vegetable peeler. You’ll be surprised how much sweeter the soup can be if the outer convex layers of the stalks are peeled off.