Celery-Potato Soup

i-phone-294As I’ve mentioned before, my kids have been on a veggie-experimentation tear lately.  I’m certainly not complaining, but after trying and not loving celery (did my husband really have to buy such a GIANT bag?), I was left with a lot of celery and no celery eaters.  Whenever I have veggies that need a home, I usually go to one of two places:  stir-fry or soup.  Today was a soup-kind of day.  Because I had SO much celery, I made a giant batch and planned to freeze half for another day.

I searched my cookbooks and online for celery soup recipes, but most were creamed soups.  In the interest of being healthy, I wanted to avoid the cream, and finally  found one that was right up my alley.  Celery, leeks, onion, potato.  No cream.  Perfect.  But as is the case with most recipes I find, I needed to tweak it a little because I either didn’t have all the exact ingredients, or just didn’t want to include them.  What follows is what I came up with.  It got a big thumbs up from my husband (who, as the celery purchaser, had no choice but to love it or endure my wrath), but also (and perhaps more importantly) from my non-celery loving children.  They were amazed that the veggie they didn’t like raw was turned into something they loved in soup form.  Just gave me more encouragement to keep pushing the veggies!

This do-ahead soup would make a fantastic first course for your Thanksgiving dinner!!!

Celery-Potato Soup

Serves 10+

1 medium onion, chopped

2 large leeks, carefully cleaned, and white/light green parts sliced

2 hearts of celery (about 12 stalks in all), leaves removed and sliced

1 lb potatoes, peeled and diced

4-5 cloves garlic, minced

8 cups vegetable broth or water (okay to use chicken broth)

1-2 bay leaves

olive oil

salt and pepper

Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.

Add celery, leeks, and onion and season with about 1 teaspoon of salt and saute for about 10 minutes, or until soft but not browned.

Add the potatoes, garlic, broth and bay leaf.  Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.

Remove bay leaf and remove pot from heat.

Using an immersion or “stick” blender (see note if you do not have one), puree the soup until there are no remaining chunks.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  If soup is too thick, thin with additional broth or water (1/2 cup at a time) until you reach desired consistency. 

Serve hot with a garnish of either a few very thinly sliced pieces of celery or a few ribbons of the dark green, unused part of the leek.

Click here for more information about Tracy’s Connecticut cooking classes, or to read her The Secret Ingredient Blog.

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