So what do you do when you end up with two giant heads of celery less than a week? You make soup. I went through recipes for cream of celery soup and I didn’t really want something that delicate. I wanted something with a little bit of flavor, so I came up with my version. Yes, wing it soup.
I saved some of my celery for the salmon cakes I’m making on Friday, but the rest of it got a rough chop and tossed into one of my soup pots with about 3 tablespoons of butter, four cloves of garlic, also chopped, and rough chopped onions. I also added salt, thyme, a couple of bay leaves, and 1/3 cup of water. I put the lid on the pot and let the vegetables cook down a few minutes.
Normally cream of celery soup calls for leeks but when I went to Aldi this week they didn’t have any, so I used red onions and yellow onions specifically are used one big red onion and two regular yellow onions.
To the onions and garlic and celery, I next added two chopped up yellow Yukon Gold potatoes I had. I also peeled and chopped small a bunch of parsnips that arrived in my vegetable box from Lancaster this week. We use Doorstep Dairy if you’re interested and are in their delivery area.
I let all the vegetables kind of meld together and cooked down about another 15 minutes. Then I used a box and a half of prepackaged chicken stock. Each box is 32 ounces so in total, I added 48 ounces of chicken stock. Two that I added a dash of Herbes de Provence. I brought it all up to a boil, then reduced to low and covered, and let everything cook.
When the parsnips and potatoes were both soft, I removed the bay leaves, and I took out my Cuisinart hand blender and puréed everything. I then let it all cook down more. I did this part of the cooking on low heat, and I stirred fairly often, so nothing stuck to the bottom of the pan. This was probably about another 40 minutes.
Then I added half a cup of half-and-half, and a dash of curry powder. Not a spicy curry powder just Keen’s Traditional Curry Powder. I know that sounds weird to add, but it just struck me that it would make a good addition to the flavor profile and I was right. I love curry so I do add curry powders to a lot of recipes.
I then use my hand blender once again, and emulsified everything a little more. I served the soup with Italian breadsticks. I have always loved breadsticks, and people always forget about them.
Now you have my semi homemade recipe for cream of celery soup. I will note I rarely use heavy cream when I do a cream based soup because I don’t like the extra thick and heavy, which means I will use half-and-half, canned unsweetened coconut milk, or even buttermilk. I think this recipe could be done with any of the above, but I just happen to have half-and-half in, so that’s what I used.
I know people don’t like it when I say a dash of this or a dash of that, but it really just is depending on what your taste level is and if you’re unsure of some thing you can always add a little less at first because you can always add a little more later.
Good soup, even semi-homemade, does take a little bit of time, but the thing about soup is you can cook it while you’re doing other things. So if you work from home it doesn’t really interfere with life.
I have been working really hard to try to use and not be wasteful with food. That even includes with leftovers. Like a pasta sauce and ricotta that was the leftover last week became baked ziti.
Food prices are crazy and what’s even nuttier are what the stores are out of from week to week and it’s not even Covid anymore. And with high food prices, it doesn’t mean you can’t eat well, it just means sometimes you have to be a little more inventive and use what you have versus buying lots of new things. I have been shopping more at places like Aldi, because they have great prices and their products are not bad.
Anyway, this is an easy enough soup to make, so I thought I would share it with you, because it did turn out to be quite delicious. I will probably have more for lunch today since it’s damp and rainy.
*sigh* I cleaned the kitchen this morning. I looked thru the box of books that had to go to the library book sale ..whenever it may be.
I sat down with my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and opened the cellphone. Ah. Chestercountyramble…
…celery..potato..all those spices..half-half….
Damn you, Carla!
I wrote that post five years ago. I don’t know what more I could say after five years and I haven’t even looked at anything having to do with this since 2018. You might want to reach out to Robin Ashby or any of the local historical societies .
I was just wondering if you spoke to anyone besides Robin Ashby while gathering information for your story. I’m buying the property and I’m looking to gather as much history as possible. Thank you!
There’s a Chester County historical Society and they have wonderful archives. I’m sure you can make an appointment to visit with them and Robin is a great resource for that part of Chester County, and generous with his knowledge. You also might wish to google Catherine Quillman, who is a historian and artist in Chester County
I hope you are planning on restoring this treasure
Thank you for your help.
Hope it helps – sorry it has been so long. Feel free to let me know how it goes.