Celery Soup

I was able to turn my giant kale into kale chips as there was no room in the fridge for it.  There was no room in the crisper drawers for the celery, either, so something had to be done.  I thought of celery soup as our CSA celery is pretty assertive.  A quick Google search for inspiration and I came across the winning celery veloute from Top Chef Masters.  So with a nod to Chef Nomi Pomeroy, please find my version of said Celery Soup. — Jason Adams

{Recipe after the jump.}

Serves about 6

Ingredients

For the Soup:

  • 1 bunch celery, leaves separated from stalks and reserved.  Stalks coarsely chopped.
  • 3 leeks – white part only, cleaned and coarsely chopped
  • 2 onions coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic scapes – tender tops only, coarsely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • Salt

 For the Garnish:

  •  3 tablespoons reserved celery leaves, chopped fine
  • 1 shallot, peeled and finely diced
  • Zest from one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • About 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt

Preparing the Soup:

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.

Add the leeks, onions and garlic scapes, and cook gently until soft.

Add the water to cover, about four cups, and chopped celery, bring to a simmer and cook until the celery is soft.

Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

In batches, transfer the celery mixture to a blender and blend until smooth, returning the blended mixture back to the pot.

Stir in the heavy cream, a little at a time, until the desired richness is achieved.  Add salt to taste.

You can serve the soup now as is either hot or cold, but as I had too many strings from the celery (probably should have diced the celery fine before cooking) I ran the whole mess through a fine sieve.  This makes for a more delicate soup and is a definite benefit if served cold, but it also stripped out some of the celery flavor and complexity.

Preparing the Garnish:

Place the chopped shallots in a small bowl, about ½ teaspoon salt and enough of the vinegar to cover.  Set aside.

Place the chopped celery leaves, chives and lemon zest (feel free to add other leafy herbs – this is what I had on hand at the time) in another small bowl and pour on enough olive oil to cover.  Set aside.

Serving:

Strain the shallots and mix in with the herb mixture.

Divide the hot or cold soup into small bowls.

Place about a teaspoon or so of the herb mixture into each bowl – allow your guests to mix it in if they please.

This soup was very subtle and it grows on you as eat it.

Wine Pairing:

For a wine pairing I recommend a dry sparkling chenin blanc.  One I have been enjoying this year is the 2010 Robinot, L’ange Vin Fetembulle.

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