Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cream of Celery Soup

Years ago when my husband and I were in Dublin for a literary conference, I spent my days sightseeing and shopping while he was involved in egg-heady talks.  Every day though we’d meet for lunch (our big meal of the day) at O’Neill’s Pub on Suffolk Street.  He'd pretty much order the same thing, but I tried to get something different each day.  On one happy occasion I ordered a bowl of cream of celery soup.  It was delicious, surely the very best that I’d ever tasted.  I picked up his spoon, scooped up some of the soup and told him that he simply must try it.  Obediently, he did.  Then he looked at me with wary eyes and said, It sort of sets my teeth on edge.  How deflating!  I loved it and decided then and there that I was going to find a recipe that replicated it.  No hurry now, since only one of us would be eating it, but my quest quietly continued.

I have finally found it thanks to my rummaging through an old (December 1995) issue of Bon Appétit.  The secret, it seems, to an intensely flavorful and creamy celery soup is celeriac, a.k.a. celery root, and this recipe makes good use of it. There is just no way to photograph the creamy delicious of this unassuming little bowl of soup, you’ll just have to try it for yourself.  Equally good when consumed hot or chilled, you can make a vegetarian variety by substituting the chicken stock for vegetable stock.  The garnish I used here is a few leaves I plucked off of one of the celery plants that I have growing in my container garden on the back deck.

Cream of Celery Soup

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
5 cups chopped celery
2 medium onions, chopped
1 1-pound celery root, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 10-ounce russet potato, peeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon celery salt
2 14 1/2-ounce cans (or more) low-salt chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add celery and onions. Cover and cook until very tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Stir in celery root, potato, garlic and celery salt. Add 2 cans broth; cover and simmer until all vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Puree in blender in batches. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

Pour soup into large saucepan. Add cream; bring to simmer, stirring often. Thin with more broth if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls.

This post is linked to:


Lori E said...

That does sound good and I don't eat a lot of soup.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I made celery soup a while back and it was a hit! I love all the delicious uses for celery root.