Right into soups at the moment, weather-related I suspect. This is a relatively quick-cooking soup, once the chopping and sweating of veg is done, takes around 20 to 25 minutes simmering before ready to blend and add in the cream.
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 1.2 litres/2 Pints Chicken Stock
- 1 1/2-2 Heads of Celery
- 1 Large Onion
- 1 Large Carrot
- 1 Potato, decent sized Maris Piper or similar, not as big as a baking potato
- 1 Bay Leaf
- Pinch of Celery Salt and freshly grated Black Pepper to season, the celery is naturally “salted” in flavour, so you probably do not need to add further salt.
- Knob of Butter and drizzle of Olive Oil
- 1/2 small tub Single Cream (3 Tbsp)
Slice the onion thinly. Wash and de-string the celery if it is particularly stringy, mine was young and fresh so I did not bother and it blended beautifully. Chop the celery into half moons about 1cm thick. Clean and chop the carrot into small dice. I am not a fan of “white” soups, particularly in winter as they can seem cold to me, adding in a carrot adds a lovely pale golden hue to the soup.
Melt some butter with a drizzle of olive oil in the base of a heavy soup pot or large pot. Sweat the chopped veg until the onion has softened. Peel and chop the potato into large dice (you do not want the potato to go into watery mush) and add in, along with the chicken stock, the bay leaf and a very small pinch of celery salt just for a flavour boost and a few grinds of black pepper. The potato adds substance to this soup, so it is worth including.
Simmer for 20-25 minutes until all the veg is soft but not falling apart and blend to a smooth puree, I use a hand-blender for this and find that I need to tip the pot up and around to get an even, smooth blend. Test for seasoning. Finish with the cream, warming the cream through the soup but do not let it boil or it will go blobby.
To freeze this soup, cook and puree but leave out the cream. With heads of nice celery currently 40p in Tesco, it is well worth freezing a load.