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Dinner Tonight! | Learning to Cook

Putting Your Celery to Work

January 23, 2002|MARION CUNNINGHAM | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

I sometimes wonder why soup is such a comforting food. Maybe it's because after you combine a few ingredients and put the soup on the stove to simmer, it softly bubbles along, taking responsibility for creating a pleasing meal for you.

This cream of celery soup recipe is very simple and calls for ingredients that are generally on hand if you cook at all. Don't use the dark green outer stalks of the celery; the pale green and inner white tender parts have much more flavor.

Serve this with cornmeal muffins and poached or baked pears with a brown sugar topping.

Cream of Celery Soup

Active Work Time: 15 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 45 minutes

10 to 12 stalks celery (inner light-colored or white center stalks)

1 onion

6 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 cups half-and-half

1 1/2 cups milk

Salt

Trim the leaves from the celery stalks and trim away the rough bottom edges. Rinse the celery of any dirt. Chop the celery into small pieces and place in a pot.

Trim the root and top of the onion. Cut the onion in half from the stem end to the root bottom. Turn each half flat-side down. Slice from the root end to the top in 1/4-inch slices. Cut each half in 1/4-inch slices crosswise. Place in the pot.

Add the broth and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover the soup and simmer until the celery is tender, 30 minutes. Strain the vegetables from the liquid, keeping the liquid in the pot. Puree the vegetables in a food processor or blender. Return the puree to the pot and add the half-and-half and milk. Stir to mix well, then add salt to taste. Reheat over low and serve hot. Do not let the soup come to a boil.

4 servings. Each serving: 243 calories; 346 mg sodium; 47 mg cholesterol; 15 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 17 grams carbohydrates; 10 grams protein; 2.32 grams fiber.

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