The celery went wild this year. Prime conditions in the veggie garden made it grow like mad, producing stalk after stalk, bunch after bunch. We froze numerous bags of it for soups this winter (just wash, chop, toss in a bag and freeze), but here it is nearly November and the celery marches on.
I picked another armful a few days ago and wondered what more I could do with it. Soup came to mind and this recipe was born. If you can find another variety besides the typical supermarket Pascal type, go for it. We grew an unlabeled variety this season and the flavor was second to none.
Cream of Celery Soup
4 cups chopped celery
1 medium or large onion, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
3-4 tbsp. flour
2 cans chicken broth
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
1 can evaporated milk (1 cup of heavy cream can be used in place of milk)
In a 5-6 quart dutch oven, saute onion and celery in olive oil until translucent (do not brown). Transfer cooked vegetables to food processor and pulse until finely minced (15-20 one second pulses).
In same dutch oven, make a roux* using butter and flour. Melt butter, add flour and whisk constantly over low-medium heat for 1 minute, being careful not to allow roux to burn. Slowly pour in chicken broth, whisking constantly. Add in vegetables, salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add in evaporated milk, bring soup back to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes longer.
Serve warm or chilled. Soup will thicken as it cools.
*A roux is often used to thicken creamy soups. The flour must be cooked to eliminate its flavor. Typically the ratio of fat to flour is 1:1. For this recipe a 1:2 ratio worked best.
Note: We froze a bowl of the soup to see how it would be after thawing it. After two days in the freezer, the bowl was popped into the microwave to test. It was perfect. So feel free to make a big batch. It should be good for at least a month.
– Faith Pineo