Any time I make soup I always end up with a bunch of celery leftover because I only ever need just 2-3 stalks at a time. By the time I find it again shoved in the back of my fridge it has already gone completely limp. I never really know what to do with the celery, sometimes it sounds good with peanut butter but most of the time it ends up in my garbage. This weekend I decided to make a cream of celery soup in hopes of finding a new way to use up all that celery. I didn’t know what to expect when making this soup, but I really didn’t have a lot of faith in it turning out well.
And then I was pleasantly surprised!
I was actually really shocked at how well it turned out and how deliciously light it tasted. This definitely isn’t a soup to make as a main dish dinner for your family, but it is perfect as a side dish. It’s great as a cup of soup along with a hearty sandwich or salad. It’s almost a dainty soup, something I would make for girlfriends at a brunch.
Here’s how I made it.
You need chicken broth, milk, celery, half an onion, 2 slices of bacon, 1 small yukon potato, garlic, butter, thyme, salt/pepper and celery salt if you have it.
Start by cooking up the two slices of bacon in the same pan that you’ll cook your soup in. I normally use my dutch oven but thought I would mix it up for this soup and then I immediately regretted it. All of my bacon stuck to the bottom of the pan, which was great for my soup but not so great for my bacon. I ended up pulling it out and then finishing it in the microwave. You’ll want it nice and crispy, then set it aside.
Drain most of the bacon fat out of the pot and then dice up half of an onion and throw it in. You’ll want to get the onion pretty translucent before you move on.
When the onion is done, dice up a ton of celery. The recipe calls for 2-1/2 cups of chopped celery which was almost the whole bunch. Make sure you cut the leaves of the stalks too, there is a lot of flavor in those little things! When you add in the celery also mince up the cloves of garlic and throw those in.
Add the celery into the pot with the onion and cook them until the celery begins getting soft. I love cooking celery and onion in bacon grease because it gives the vegetables such a great flavor and color. Let the veggies really cook down before moving on.
Peel and chop the small potato. I really like that there is a potato in this recipe because it adds so much to the finished product. I chopped mine in pretty small chunks because I didn’t want it to take forever to soften.
When you add in the potato, also dump in the cup of chicken broth and the cup of milk. Give it a stir, then cover the pot and let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes. The soup only needs to simmer long enough for the potatoes to become soft, so the larger the chunks the longer it will simmer.
This is what it looked like when I pulled it off the stove and then I added all the spices. I am really not a fan of thyme, I think it’s one of the worst herbs ever! It’s horrid. I still get a bad taste in my mouth when I think about my chicken pot pie I made and then ruined because I used thyme. This recipe calls for it but I of course didn’t use it, so use thyme if you dare.
I just happen to have celery salt, because my mom buys random spices like that and then shares them with me. I used that as my salt to give the soup an extra boost of flavor. Plus lots of fresh ground black pepper.
If you have an immersion blender it’s the easiest way to puree a soup, other wise use a blender or food processor. Completely puree the soup and then test for any additional spices needed.
Don’t forget about the crispy bacon that was set aside at the beginning. Crumble it up and use the bacon to top off each cup or bowl of soup.
Doesn’t that look scrumptious? Actually the color of soup really isn’t the prettiest, even Jesse was pretty hesitant to try it, but the flavor was very refreshing. The recipe that I provide below is what I used and is actually half of the original recipe, so feel free to double if needed. I hope you enjoy this soup sometime!
- 2 strips of Bacon
- 1 T Butter
- 2-1/2 cups chopped Celery
- 1/2 Onion, diced
- 1 Garlic clove
- 1/2 T Thyme
- 1 small potato - peeled and cubed
- 1 cup Chicken Broth
- 1 cup Milk
- Salt/Pepper to taste
- Cook bacon in soup pot then remove when crispy, set aside.
- Add butter to pot and cook onion until translucent
- Add in chopped celery, garlic and thyme. Saute until soft, about 15 minutes
- Add chopped potato, broth and milk. Cover and simmer 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft and soup is slightly thickened.
- Add in salt/pepper to taste
- Puree until smooth
- Top with crispy bacon