01 February 2012

Celery soup

For lunch yesterday, to ward off the cold, we had celery soup. I have a lot of pictures of snow scenes, but I'll post this today.

Trim and cut up a full head of céleri en branches. Cook the celery for 30 minutes in just enough lightly salted boiling water to cover it. Then take the celery out of the water using a slotted spoon and set it aside. In the boiling water, cook four or five small or medium potatoes that you've peeled and cut into slices or cubes.

Cream of celery soup with garlic croutons

When the potatoes are done, run them through a food mill (un moulin à légumes) to puree the flesh. Save the cooking liquid. Then run the cooked celery through the food mill too. The food mill is ideal for this job because it presses the tender flesh of the celery into a puree but traps the tough fibers of the celery ribs, which you can discard.

Celery soup, needs cream added

Combine the two purees, add some or all of the cooking liquid and maybe some chicken broth if you need it to get the soup to the right consistency. Season it with salt and pepper to your taste. Reheat.


While the celery and potatoes are cooking, or when the soup is done, make a batch of croutons. Cut up good bread, slightly stale if you have any, and toss the cubes of bread in melted butter or olive oil, the way you would toss a salad. You can add some minced or pressed garlic. Spread the buttered or oiled bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast them in a hot oven until they turn golden brown.

Take the hot soup and some heavy cream or crème fraîche to the table. After pouring and stirring some cream into the soup in your bowl, float croutons on op. This kind of soup makes a tasty, warming main course for lunch or dinner in wintertime. This recipe will easily serve four as a main course, or six or even eight as an appetizer.


  1. With this kind of weather? Soups! Never made celery soup before.
    I will try this.

  2. I'm putting this simple, but obviously delicious recipe in my file under "winter". I look forward to your snow photos...they might cool me down. Here in Perth its 39 degrees!

  3. Hey Sue - you should see what Ken cooked today - put this on the "to Cook" file for winter please.
    Oh alright, I'll try it out myself but let's wait for winter.
    Louise tells me is 39 in Perth and its on its way to Melbourne.
    Looks yummy Ken, even now!!

  4. I'm a great fan of celery soup. Looks yummy! It's definitely soup weather:I made potato and leek soup yesterday for lunch.

  5. Hi Antoinette, yes, leek and potato soup is sort of the "master recipe" for this kind of thing. You could do the same thing with broccoli, turnips, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots... and on and on. I just happened to have celery, and Walt and I both love it cooked.

    You all in the southern hemisphere, enjoy your summer. We're doing our best to enjoy our winter.

  6. You've definitely inspired me. I think I'll be doing soup tonight!

  7. The WV is apt... "makiso"... so in good Startrek terms I shall "make it so"... only it will be with celeriac as our celery is now a bit battered... if I can get the celeriac out of the ground.
    Hope you are getting this sunshine up by t'Loire.

  8. I just made a purée-of-many-vegetables soup (thanks to my new heavy-duty immersion blender), and have been really enjoying that. It really brings back memories of my year as an au pair, as my au pair family made it rather frequently.

    I'd like to try this one (though I don't have a food mill to press the celery through).

  9. Hi Ken,
    Your mentioning the Southern hemisphere reminded me of that United States Information Agency's Director, M. [Z]wick [not to give his name], who talked once about the FOUR hemispheres! He probably had too much to drink that day and "voyait double"! LOL

  10. Loved reading about a soup I've never tasted (but plan on if I can find a mill). ALSO chuckled at many of the replies. 4 hemispheres lol .

  11. Evelyn, I just had a look at amazon.com and I see that food mills are very expensive there. Good luck finding one. Maybe I can bring you one from France in May...

    CHM, LOL. Good memories of work, and those are valuable.

    Tim, celeriac (céleri-rave) is a good idea for the soup. I'll do that next time.

    Judy, soupe de légumes, yum. I should do that more often, with a mix of vegetables. As for the celery, if you pull off all the strings you can before you cook the celery, then you could use the immersion blender to puree it. Or maybe that wouldn't even be necessary.

  12. Mmm. Reminds me of your heavenly squash/zucchini soup.

  13. I'll join the ranks of "never had celery soup" but "will give it a try!" There are food mills available in my local TJMax and also Bed, Bath and Beyond. I saw them and wanted one, but couldn't come up with a valid reason to buy one-for under $10 I think. Now I probably won't find one!

    Mary in Oregon


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