Our girl came home from school one day last week and breathlessly announced , “Guess what? Now I LOVE CELERY!” After a little questioning, it turned out they’d had “ants on a log” for snack that day. I had no idea what that was , and you probably don’t either, but Mark explained it meant celery stalks with cream cheese and raisins (ick?).
We were so excited about the interest in a new vegetable we immediately ran out and hijacked a celery truck. So when it became apparent that “I LOVE celery” actually meant “I LOVE licking cream cheese off celery stalks leaving the licked over celery on someone else’s plate then dancing around the kitchen table while singing Hey Now You’re a Rockstar Get Your Game On Go Play” – we were stuck with a whoooole lotta celery.
Which brings me to dinner. Cream of Celery (or Cream of Anything) soup calls for at least 4 cups of it, chopped roughly. Plus – I have about a quart of stock I made from the roast chicken we had over the weekend. Just simmer the celery (or broccoli or carrot, etc) with a cubed medium sized potato in a quart of broth. The potato will give the soup more body and creaminess without using a ridiculous amount of cream. After the veggies are soft, I’ll puree them right in the pot with my beloved immersion blender. I’m not big on kitchen appliances in general but this is one I highly recommend if you like to make soups.
It won’t make the soups super pureed, the way they would be if you put them in the blender, you’ll get a more “rustic” (aka lumpy) texture. But this way you avoid the royal pain of having to haul out the blender, puree the soup in small batches without having it spew all over your kitchen, then wash all the extra accoutrements.
After the veggies are pureed, I’ll reheat the soup and add a little cream – just enough to get to the color I want – then salt and pepper to taste. I’ve also got about a half a baguette left over from the weekend ; perfect for making garlic croutons. Just cut the baguette (or any good day old bread) into rounds, then sautee in a little hot olive oil and garlic. After they’re golden brown, drain on paper towels and salt. They’ll store in a ziploc bag at room temp for a couple of days and once you make your own, trust me, you’ll never buy them from a store again.