Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cream of Celery Soup

I'm not quite sure where I got the idea to do a cream of celery soup, but I did it. I think I've tasted Campbell's before, but it was years ago, maybe my Grandma Beck used to put it in casseroles and what not. It turned out amazing though! And I really have a love for creamy soups, and creamy anything for that matter, so just the idea of cream of celery sounded so tasty to me. You could keep the soup chunky if you'd like. My Dad said after I had already pureed the soup, that he would prefer chunks of celery, so maybe I could even take out some of the cooked celery and add it after the puree-ing, or leave it chunky all together. Either way, I think you should try it. This is a very easy recipe, and when it comes to measurements, nothing needs to be exact. You can make the soup as thick or thin as you'd like; salty, unsalted, whatever :)

Cream of Celery
¼ c. butter
¼ c. olive oil
1 head of celery (3-4 c. chopped)
1 onion (2 c. chopped)
1 large carrot (1 c. chopped)
½ t. garlic salt
1 t. salt
4 T. flour
1 c. chicken broth
(or water)
2 c. half and half or cream
In a large pan sauté butter, olive oil, chopped celery, onions, and carrots, until onions become translucent, about 8 minutes. Add garlic salt, salt and flour, mix well and continue to stir over heat for about 3more minutes. Slowly add chicken broth, or water if you don’t have broth on hand. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, you want all the vegetables to be soft. Keep the temperature on medium, making sure the bottom doesn’t burn. Whisk in 2 cups of cream or half and half (for a lighter soup), and mix thoroughly, cook another 5 minutes on low heat. With a hand mixer, or in smaller batches in a food processor, mix until you reach a smooth puree.
Serve right away hot, or can keep in the refrigerator for up to a 1 week. You can also freeze in zip lock bags. Garnish with pesto oil and parmesan toast (toast slices of a baguette, butter each slice, top with parmesan cheese and garlic salt, toast another minute under the broiler.)

Pesto Oil
½ c. basil leaves
½ c. pine nuts
½ c. olive oil
Salt and pepper
In a food processor or blender mix basil and pine nuts, slowly add the olive oil. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste when finished.

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