Don’t let this recipe’s fancy name put you off. This velvety cream of celery soup is so elegant that I felt it deserved the flourish of an equally elegant French name.
Potage Velouté de Céleri:
8-to-10 c. (1.9-to-2.4 mL) chicken stock
8-to-10 medium stalks celery with leaves, coarsely chopped (see Note)
1-to-2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 large potato, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. (60 mL) butter or margarine
1/2 c. (125 mL) all-purpose flour
1-1/2 c. (350 mL) light cream (also called half-and-half “coffee cream”)
2 tbsp. (30 mL) celery salt plus 1/2 tsp. (2.5) table salt, or to taste (see Further Note)
1/2 tsp. (2.5) coarsely ground pepper, or to taste
Pour stock into a large, heavy pot, bringing to a boil. Add celery, carrots, onion, and potato. Simmer, covered, for 20 min. Cool 10 min. Working with a few cups at a time, transfer to blender and purée on highest setting. Set aside. Use slotted spoon to strain for lumps or solid bits of vegetable; discard or blenderize again, if necessary.
Wipe soup pot with a clean cloth to remove and solid bits of vegetables or celery fibers. Transfer blenderized soup to pot, reheating on simmer setting.
In medium saucepan over medium-low setting, melt margarine or butter. Gradually whisk in flour until no lumps remain. Slowly add cream and seasonings. Gradually stir flour mixture into hot soup. Serves 8-to-10.
Note: If desired, reserve a few uncooked celery leaves, chopping them finely to sprinkle over each bowl. This is a fancy little garnish that I’d only bother with for guests.
Further Note: Made from ground celery seeds and salt, celery salt is one part celery seed and two parts salt. I consider it more of a seasoning than a “salt.” That’s why I’ve used such a liberal hand with the salts in this recipe.
One More Note: Check out another Cream of Celery Soup at http://nicoleparton.blogspot.ca/search/label/Soup%20%28Hot%29%3A%20Celery%20%28Cream%20of%29