Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Cream of Celery Soup

I never thought celery soup could be so tasty. I had a bit of celery on hand that needed to be used, so I did an online search for any recipe containing celery. After viewing a few different celery soup recipes, I came up with the following combination, which was delicious! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons trans-fat-free butter
3¾ cups celery including tops, chopped
1 cup celery, diced
½ cup carrots, chopped
¾ cup onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 bay leaf
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon trans-fat-free butter
⅔ cup fat-free half-and-half or milk - I used half-and-half
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 to 5 dashes hot sauce - I used Tabasco, my husband's favorite hot sauce! 
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon chives, chopped

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 teaspoons butter in a large saucepan on stove. Add chopped celery (not the diced), carrots, onion, and garlic. Cook over low heat until soft. Add bay leaf and chicken broth. Heat to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After vegetables have cooked, scoop most of the cooked vegetables into blender in small batches, and pulse until smooth. I poured the broth and vegetables into a separate bowl, and then used the same saucepan for the next step. I used a soup ladle to scoop the vegetables into the blender, and only added as much of the broth as I needed to be able to blend the mixture. I did not worry about getting all of the vegetables into the blender. If you enlarge the photo above, you can see that some of the carrots were not all blended.

Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon butter in saucepan. Sauté remaining diced celery. If mixture becomes too dry, and some of the broth liquid from the cooked vegetables. When celery is soft, add blended vegetables and broth back to the saucepan. Stir in half-and-half, lemon juice, hot sauce, and freshly ground pepper. Stir to heat soup, but do not boil.

Sprinkle with chopped fresh chives before serving. Serve with additional ground pepper, if desired.