Sunday, January 24, 2010

(Cream of) Celery Soup

I love celery. I love the crunch of it, I love the smell of it, I love the taste of it...and I love how it works with other ingredients rather than overpowering them. As a kid I even liked that Cream of Celery Soup in the red and white can. Imagine! My Sunset magazine arrived this morning with a recipe for Celery Soup, and it even had a "Staff Favorite" star. Can you imagine what happened next? Yep, quick drive to the store for a fresh bunch of celery. I was a bit concerned about how good the soup would be, as the only seasonings are salt and pepper, but it works! The soup is great, very mild. I like it even without the caramelized apples and sprinkle of crumbled blue cheese. I do wish I had made some crispy croutons or some crusty bread to have on the side, so I will also post a recipe my friend gave me for Rustic Rosemary Bread. I think I just might serve this as a starter for my next Dinner party. It's perfect, light, tasty, pretty, and won't interfere with the main course at all. Until then though, I will enjoy this as a light lunch.

(Cream of) Celery Soup

1 bunch of celery, roughly chopped into chunks about 1" wide (1 1/2 lbs)
1 small onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 qt. (4 cups) chicken broth or vegetable broth (I used homemade chicken stock)
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

Combine celery, onion and broth/stock in a medium pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until celery is cooked. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small frying pan and add chopped apple. Cook apple, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until apple is caramelized. Let broth-celery mixture cool for a bit, then whirl in a blender until smooth (do this in batches, and if soup is still hot, do it in small batches). Return soup to pan, stir in half-and-half, salt and pepper. Heat gently. Ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle with caramelized apples and blue cheese. Makes 4 servings.

Based on a recipe from Sunset Magazine, Feb. 2010
Nutritional Analysis (from Sunset)

204 calories, 9 g protein, 13 g fat, 14 g. carbo, 2.8 g fiber, 515 mg sodium, 37 mg chol.

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