Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday and your new year is off to a great start.
My homework over the holiday was to dig into the five or six cookbooks I borrowed from the library and was gifted by my family to come up with some new recipes to try and hopefully share with all of you.
One of those cookbooks was Big Heart Little Stove by Erin French, owner of The Lost Kitchen in Freedom, Maine. When I happened upon her recipe for Fresh Celery Soup and saw the simplicity of its ingredients, I knew it was a recipe I had to try for two reasons. First, I adore celery. I always have it in my bin, and one of my favorite ways to use it is in a salad, something I learned from the “French study abroad mother” of my high school friend, Diane who I once visited at her house in Avignon while on my own semester in Strasbourg. Her “mother’ put celery in the salad she served us forty years ago and I have been adding it to my salads ever since! Second, this is a perfect reset soup after a season of indulgent food and drink. The ingredients are clean, and in fact I’ve made them a touch cleaner by reducing the amount of butter and elminating the heavy cream entirely from the original recipe. Not to worry though, I’ve made note of my changes should you want to take the recipe up a notch, or back to where Erin intended it to be! I also doubled the amount of potato in the recipe as her original quantity of 1 cup left me with half a potato leftover and rather than waste it, I increased the quantity to 2 cups as you will see.
Now, as much as I love celery, it’s true that some of the inner stalks sometimes get a little tired before they get used up. And, as I had two stalks in that situation, I found this first recipe a good match with what I had on hand. Fun fact – during the pandemic I did learn that if you wrap celery tightly and completely in plastic wrap, it will keep much longer (which is true). My mother used to slice it up into spears and keep it in the fridge in a tub of water which also helps to keep it nice and crisp (but takes up space!).
The only ingredients you may not have for the soup are celery seeds (which I keep on hand in case I want to make a slaw) and celery salt (which I also have on hand, not sure I can recall why but it’s a great seasoning agent). Otherwise, all you need are your celery, an onion, a carrot, some garlic and some chicken broth, along with a little bit of olive oil and butter.
When I made the soup, I used just a pinch of bouillion as my homemade stock looked a little anemic. It overpowered the soup just a little so I would not use it again, but taste your soup for seasoning and adjust as you see fit. You can drizzle the finished soup with a little olive oil if you’d like. Erin suggests brown butter, or some lump crabmeat which would make it more of a complete meal and oh so elegant.
So, what do you think? Is this celery and potato soup in your future? Scroll to the bottom to get the recipe…
Here are some other soup recipes on The Kitchen Scout to keep you warm and cozy…