Saturday, April 18, 2015

Cream of Celery Soup

I kind of wish celery was sold by the rib.  A bunch is usually too much, and the pre-cut sticks are expensive.  Still, I hate to waste any food and needed to come up with a use for it.  I also had a little more milk than intended, so here we go.

This recipe I found online reminded me of the Bible's chilled cucumber soup.  The ingredients and method are similar, except for the chilling part.  My broth bag was completely full after making Seder, so I decided to break out the bones from my deboned turkey and make stock instead of just vegetable broth.  I still have several portions of turkey in the freezer.  Think I'll have those next week.

Anyway, back to the soup.  A low-fat chicken or vegetable broth will make this recipe much lighter than what I ended up with, but it was nice to have the richness with an otherwise vegetarian meal.

1/4 C butter
*2 C finely diced celery
*1 C finely diced onion
*1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 C flour
2 C low-salt stock (veggie or chicken)
*1-1/2 C milk
Salt and white pepper to taste

1.  Melt butter in a large saucepan or deep 12" skillet.  I know it sounds like a lot of butter, but it is going to be the base of your thickening roux, in addition to being a sauté fat.

2.  Add celery, onion, and garlic and cook on medium until everything is soft and translucent, at least 5 minutes.  Stir frequently to prevent anything from browning.

3.  Add flour and work into the mix until everything is coated evenly and all of the butter has been absorbed.  It's going to look a little pasty.  Add liquids half a cup at a time, allowing each addition to heat and thicken.  I recommend starting with whichever liquid contains more fat.  2% milk will have more fat than a veggie or skimmed chicken stock.  Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, until celery is thoroughly cooked.  Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.  Celery is salty on its own, so go easy.
4.  For a creamier soup, purée with either a stick blender or in batches in the blender.  Serve hot or cold, or use in recipes.

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