Friday, March 18, 2011

What do you do with a GINORMOUS bunch of celery???

Give Campbell's a run for their money, of course!

We had celery** on hand already, and when our CSA (community supported agriculture) organic vegetable box arrived this week, we had still MORE celery.  A gigantic bunch.  Stalks like palm trees.

J. mentioned he liked Campbell's Cream if Celery soup so I was off and running!  (And here was me thinking you just used that for a base for sauce when you didn't have any cream of mushroom...)

Here's my made-up, rather luscious recipe...

1 sweet yellow onion, chopped

8 or so HUMONGOUS stalks of celery or the equivalent, chopped  (more if you really want to move celery)

2 carrots, sliced (or about 8 baby ones if that's what you have)

(Some recipes call for a potato, but I had potato yesterday and my arthritis gets grumpy if I have too many nightshade family members)

2 T. butter (we mix unsalted organic butter with canola oil to cut the saturated fat, and add a bit of sea salt)

Saute' the vegetables in butter till they begin to soften, then add:

2 Q. chicken stock--we'd bought a roast chicken the other day and J. made stock from the bones and bits

A splash of white wine (we had Pinot Grigio on hand)--1/4- to 1/2 cup, unless you're an alcoholic, then forget's good without, anyway (and yes, of course the alcohol cooks out, but hey...)

1 bay leaf

A couple of sprigs of thyme if you have it

A shake of sea salt

Pepper to taste (we've got a wonderful pepper mix called Pepperman, and don't really need salt in that case--it's got some in it.)

Simmer till the vegetables are soft, then blend in batches in your food processor or blender.  Make sure you hold the lid down, I HAVE caused Vesuvious' Return in the past...

Add about 1 C. milk and a couple of T of sour cream, if you want.

OK, so much for the saturated fat thing...go read Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats!

If you need to thicken it, stir 1 T. flour and about 1/4 C. cold water until smooth, and pour into the hot soup.  Stir till it thickens, and serve.

Top with more pepper, if you like, and we discovered a sprinkling of Parmesan/Asiago cheese was a pretty decent accent.

....AND, since we still had celery left, I mad a variation on the theme today!  ALSO really good...

1/2 sweet yellow onion, chopped

8 or so of those ginormous stalks of organic celery or the equivalent, chopped 

2 carrots, sliced (or about 8 baby ones if that's what you have)

2 T. butter

Saute' the celery, onion, and carrots in butter till they begin to soften, then add:

1 potato, red or Idaho, chopped...we had a red one from our CSA

2 quarts chicken stock--this time I used the commercial organic stuff from the store.  Still good, though not quite as flavorful, so I added a spoonful of Better Than Bullion's Chicken flavor...

A shake of sea salt

Pepper to taste (I used Pepperman pepper mix again, but a nice coarse-grained pepper would be good.)

2 or 3  T. Worcestershire sauce, white or original--try a bit at a time and taste! 

Again simmer until the vegetables are soft, then blend till smooth,

Add about 1 C. milk, especially if the celery is strong flavored.  Ours was!

Top with more pepper and grated cheese...tastes good with whole wheat crackers, too!   We just had a cloudy-day lunch and it was lovely...

**And by the way, Joseph reminds me that unless you get organically grown celery--which we did--it's one of the most sprayed and contaminated vegetables out there.  Sorry!   <:-{
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