Raise your hand if you have part of a bunch of celery in your fridge. I constantly seem to have a celery problem in the fall and winter. I buy celery for a specific recipe, use two stalks, maybe snack on a third and then I'm stumped. I never seem to know what to do with the rest of the stuff. In the summer Waldorf, egg or chicken salad are options but I don't crave them in the cooler months. I'll stick celery in stock when I have some bones around, or if I am specifically making vegetable broth, but that is a rarity. So unfortunately this means that all fall and winter I seem to have part of a bunch of celery in my fridge. This year has already started off no different than the others, I bought celery to make vegetable barley soup and only used two stalks, which left me with a ton of celery. I decided that it was time to take action before my celery became a wilted mess so I looked online for some inspiration. After some perusing I found that there are a lot of recipes that include celery, but I found very few where celery is the main ingredient. I wanted to use most of my bunch in one go so I was underwhelmed with what I found. I decided to take matters into my own hands and play around with the concept of celery soup.
I know that celery soup doesn't sound all that delicious, but I really think that you should give it a try. This recipe roasts veggies to bring out their flavor and has a similar feeling to vichyssoise, classic leek and potato soup. Chances are that in the cooler months you have most of the ingredients for this recipe all ready in your kitchen. When I started to think about what to put in this soup I already had everything that I needed, which was incredibly convenient. The recipe itself is very basic, you could easily change it up by adding different herbs and spices. If you don't drink cow's milk pretty much any other type would work here as long as it is unflavored and unsweetened. I know that it is tempting to skip the step that says to strain the soup, but don't. Straining completely changes the texture, taking the soup from a stringy mess to a polished finished product.
1 Yellow Onion, Diced
8-9 Stalks of Celery, Chopped
4 Garlic Cloves
2 TBSP Oil
1 TSP Salt
0.5 TSP White Pepper
3 Potatoes, Peeled and Diced
0.5 TSP Fennel Seed
6 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
0.5 Cups Low Fat Milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Toss onion, celery, and garlic in oil, salt and pepper
Roast for about 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft
While veggies are roasting bring stock to a boil
Add potatoes and fennel seed, cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
When the veggies are done roasting add them to the broth and potatoes
Pour in milk
Puree everything until the soup is as blended as you can make it.
Strain the mixture through a sieve or colander
Season with additional salt and white pepper if necessary.
Serve nice and hot :)