I don’t often make celery soup. It’s not that I dislike celery; on the contrary, we eat it all the time. It’s just that we usually eat it raw with other veggies, accompanying a sandwich or a cheese plate. But it is a major ingredient in my mom’s bread stuffing for turkey, so I know it’s great cooked, too.
Celery can be light and refreshing, but it can also be somewhat bitter and overpowering. It depends on what part of the bunch you’re using, how old it is, and probably other factors consumers haven’t got control over. In soup, I’m most likely to use older, outer sticks of celery, which are the strongest flavoured. So for my soup I use other ingredients that will balance this, hopefully without overshadowing the celery altogether. Beef is robust and can hold its own next to celery. I’ve chosen small amounts of strong flavoured spices which will also stand up next to celery. Carrots are reliably sweet and can counteract any bitterness. The potato is a great gluten-free thickener.
|1 tablespoon||Fat skimmed from leftover stew. Or use olive oil.|
|2 or 3||Celery sticks|
|1||Carrot, medium, or 1/2 large|
|1 1/2 teaspoons||Minced ginger root|
|1/2 teaspoon||Ground cinnamon|
|A few slivers||Red chilli pepper, fresh or dried (use less if dried), to taste|
|1||Leftover potato (to make 1/2 cup mashed)|
|Up to a cup||Leftover beef stew*|
|2 cups||Stock, beef or vegetable; or a combination of stock and leftover gravy* (Use vegetable stock if cooking younger, inner sticks of celery to avoid overwhelming it.)|
|Salt and pepper as needed|
|Up to a tablespoon||Honey (if required)|
- Melt/heat fat in a medium saucepan.
- Chop celery and carrots into pieces that will fit easily on your favourite soup spoons. The exact quantity isn’t as important as the relative quantity: you want at least twice as much celery as carrot.
- Saute raw vegetables until celery is translucent.
- Add spices and mashed potato.
- Chop leftover meat and any vegetables from the stew; add along with juices to pan. Stir to incorporate and heat a bit.
- Add stock/gravy and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to simmer for at least 1/2 hour.**
- A few minutes before serving, check taste. Add salt/pepper if it seems a bit bland. Add honey if it’s actually too spicy.
- Serve and enjoy!
*Stew and gravy may not be gluten-free; make your choices carefully!
**If making for later use, stop here. Continue with step 8 after reheating thoroughly.