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Cream of Celery Soup – à la “Chopped”

February 11, 2017

On a recent very long flight I was watching the cooking show Chopped for the first time and four teenagers were competing. If you’ve never seen the show before, the contestants have to make various dishes and must include a bunch of random leftover ingredients in each course. The results were quite impressive. Two of them were only 14 years old and their dishes looked very professional!

I was inspired, and when I got home I resolved to look in the fridge and pantry and use up stuff creatively (something I’m not very good at doing yet, but would like to improve).  So I garnished my cream of celery soup with celery leaves and parsley, crushed peanuts, and Frank’s buffalo wing sauce. Served with goat cheese biscuits (I think you can serve pretty much anything with these and be happy). I couldn’t compete with those teens, but this was pretty good.

soup

Cream of celery soup:

About 1 lb celery, roughly chopped

4 cups stock or water, or a combination (I used 1/2 vegetable broth and 1/2 water)

1/4 to 1 cup cream or half-and-half (I used about 1/4 cup and it seemed just right for this soup)

salt and pepper to taste

optional: chopped fresh celery leaves, parsley, or chives, peanuts or other nuts, hot sauce, or an extra drizzle of cream

In a medium saucepan, bring celery and stock to a boil then lower the heat and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly and puree in a blender. Strain celery soup after pureeing (unless you use a Vitamix, then it’s unnecessary). Reheat the soup over medium-low. Season with salt and pepper.  Add the cream, heat again and serve.

(Recipe adapted from “Cream of Mushroom (or Any Vegetable) Soup” in How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman)

Note: So, I actually wrote the draft of this post years ago and I’m not sure why but I never published it. I recently found myself once again with a bunch of celery destined to rot in fridge if I didn’t do something about it, and I remembered this recipe that I made before. I guess it’s now time to post it!  This time I didn’t have peanuts or Frank’s, but chopped cashews and another type of hot sauce did the trick (and the soup would still be good without any garnishes). And this recipe can be used for pretty much any vegetable you need to use up.

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From → Soups

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