Friday, 23 October 2009

Simple Celery Soup

I grew celery in the garden this year, and it was somewhat successful, if you overlook the fact that it was exceedingly tough. It was also about half the size of any celery I've ever seen on the market. Our poor soil, of course, was a factor but also the fact that it did not get watered nearly as much as it should have been, even given how rainy it was this year. It was a very dark green, since it was out in the full sun.

When we cleaned up the garden, I was determined to see if it could be made edible in soup. I discarded the toughest half - if I could not put my thumbnail through a stem, into the compost it went - stewed the rest in turkey stock from our Thanksgiving turkey, and puréed it. Hurray, success! It was very tasty as soup.

I've suggested an hour, but just stew your celery until it is soft, which may be less time with tender commercial celery. Also when I do this with commercial celery, I think I will put in a bay leaf or two, to be removed of course before puréeing.

8 to 10 servings
about 1 1/2 hours - 15 minutes prep time

Simple Celery Soup
1 large bunch of celery
OR 2 smaller bunches
2 tablespoons sunflower seed oil or chicken fat
8 cups turkey or chicken stock
1 or 2 bay leaves (optional)
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
salt and pepper to taste

Wash and trim the celery, then chop it, fairly coarsely. Include any leaves it may have. Sauté it in the oil or fat until fairly soft but not browned. Put it in a large pot with the stock and crushed or bruised celery seed and simmer, covered, until the celery is very soft; about 1 hour.

Purée the soup in a blender or food processor until very smooth. If you can't get it completely smooth, you may wish to run it through a sieve. Adjust the seasonings (salt and pepper), and serve hot.

This can be made ahead, and also freezes well.

Last year at this time I made Gingerbread Pear Pudding.

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