Jane Grigson's Celery Soup

By • February 4, 2014 46 Comments

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Author Notes: Rather than dumping in extra cream and salt at the end of making a soup, commit to adding more butter at the beginning, and the butter will carry and magnify its flavors. Note: This is a thin soup, which might surprise you if you're not prepared. If you're in need of thick comfort, just add more potato or don't strain it. We preferred it thin -- the swishy broth makes it feel more refined, and its intensity all the more surprising; it also makes it easier to guzzle from a mug, alone. Adapted slightly from Good Things (Bison Books, 2006). Genius Recipes

Serves 4, 6 if the rest of the meal is fairly copious

  • 1/2 pound celery, chopped (outside stalks or celeriac -- about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup diced potato
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups turkey or chicken stock
  • 1/2 to 1 cups milk (optional)
  • About 1 teaspoons dill weed (2 teaspoons for fresh dill)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cream
  1. Stew celery, onion, and potato gently in the butter in a covered pan for 10 minutes. Don't let the vegetables brown. Add stock or water and 1/2 teaspoon of dill weed. Simmer for 20 minutes if you have a blender, 40 minutes if you use a food mill.
  2. Blend or purée the soup. Pour through a strainer into a clean pan (to remove the last few threads of celery), adding a little milk if too thick. Bring slowly to just under the boil, seasoning with salt, pepper and more dill weed if required.
  3. Put the cream into the soup dish, and pour the soup in on top. Swirl round with the ladle before serving, to mix in the cream.

More Great Recipes: Vegetables|Soups|Soup

Topics: Soups

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Comments (46) Questions (0)


18 days ago RB

For the celery, just the stalk or leaves included?


17 days ago Stephanie Karsten

I used the stalk only.


17 days ago RB

Thanks, Stephanie. Sorry I missed that! That detail was right on the ingredients list! Age. :) Thanks again.


2 months ago Stephanie Karsten

This soup is amazing! I read the others' comments and so, I used half as much broth as the recipe called for. I added no milk or cream. The result was fabulous--tasted like a very rich and creamy soup. Who knew that the 3-week-old lump of celery in my hydrator would yield such a treasure!


3 months ago Sally

I believe the success of this soup hinges on the amount of broth used. The first time I made this, I used only half the broth required (I was surprised to discover that was all I had on hand). It was lovely. Creamy. Flavorful. The second time around, I followed the recipe to the letter, adding the right amount of broth. Even though it turned out lovely before, I have this thing where I feel I really should try the original recipe before adapting it. So I followed it exactly, adding the right amount of broth. I was quite surprised at the result. I expected a thinner soup, but this tasted almost exactly like eating chicken broth. I refused to eat it. Or serve it to guest/family. So I added more veggies and dill so that in the end I had doubled the recipe with the exception of the broth. This gave me the same result as I had the first time. Very creamy with the wonderful taste of celery and dill. All my guests complemented the soup, with one asking for the recipe. I will be making this one again, but with half the broth of course.


3 months ago Lenka

The soup is even more amazing than described! And this comes from someone who doesn't like celery :)
It really is something out of nothing. I didn't even have enough stock, only used 1/4 of the amount yet the soup was really flavoursome.


5 months ago Cammie

The second time I doubled the celery, doubled the onion, used 3 cups of broth and 1 cup of water, made sure the broth was low sodium. (Too salty the first time) Then after blending very thoroughly with an immersion blender, add a small bit of milk until it is the thickness I wanted. Added finely chopped fresh herbs (chives/parsley) from the garden, and just a pinch of Maldon salt, nice because it adds bits of salty flavor here and there instead of uniformly mixed throughout. Absolutely perfect!!


7 months ago Christina Marie Smith

I was a little iffy about this recipe because i've never had celery soup (or anything like it), but i had a bunch of celery i wasn't planning on using. And i'm so glad i decided to make this, its so rich and creamy. I love it <3 Great recipe.


8 months ago Iris9

I've just made this soup -- again -- for the third time. I love it that much. I only had sweet potato, instead of white potato, which worked out beautifully. So perfect.


8 months ago PamellaB

This is the type of soup I substitute white beans in place of the potato. It works beautifully for thickening plus adding protein & nutrition. Cooked brown rice also works well. I'm discovering a taste for celery recently & have been buying it more, so am looking forward to trying this recipe. :-)


11 months ago robin lewis

sorry for barrage of questions, but does this soup freeze okay? or not recommended?


11 months ago robin lewis

i made this last winter so it's been a while...by 'simmer,' does the recipe mean 'covered' or 'uncovered'? or partially covered? i never know...unless a recipe is specific (enough for me)...thanks.


11 months ago robin lewis

my friends and i enjoyed the soup for lunch and had a cheese and cracker plate beforehand...does that count for protein? 8^) i think i also made this for my children and crumbled bacon on top of my son's bowl. (but let's not dwell on that fact here in this thread, if many of you know what i mean 8^)


11 months ago Emily

I made this tonight and was so impressed by the amount of flavor! Any ideas on what to add to the soup or pair with it for more protein?


11 months ago Marie Weber

I sometimes add some leftover roasted or poached chicken after the soup has been pureed.
Or my favorite, for something extra quick some roasted salmon. I keep frozen salmon around for this soup. I just pop it in the oven and cook according to the package with some olive oil, s&p, and dill sprinkled on top. The whole thing makes for a really easy dinner. I eat it on the side by my SO puts it in his soup.


12 months ago Karen

I made a few alterations and the result was rich, velvety, and delicious. I only used 4 tbsp butter, no milk, and no cream.


about 1 year ago Marie Weber

I've been making this almost weekly. I keep getting 2 bunches of celery in my CSA, got to use it up somehow. And this is the delicious solution! As some previous comments say I also double the potato. The kind of potato changes the soup a lot but try different ones to see what you like. Always add the dill when it says in the recipe, it will give you a better color if it is in the blender when you blend it. I serve with a simple roasted salmon fillet with some dill sprinkled on top.


about 1 year ago S B

Followed recipe exactly and liked it so much, I tried it with asparagus in place of celery and it was fabulous!


about 1 year ago Transcendancing

I really liked this recipe and I'll definitely make it again. I am impressed that celery can be delicious! I only used a small amount of milk, also quite a lot of dill and also doubled the potato (as I wanted it to be a little more substantial for dinner by itself). Definitely interested to try it as a thinner 'swishy' soup though.


about 1 year ago ghainskom

Delicious. I skipped the milk, tried it before adding the cream and found it didn't need it. I used double the amount of potato and I think a lot more dill as well.


over 1 year ago Mark

can I freeze a protion of this soup for latter use???


over 1 year ago theresa94010

I wonder if this soup would be good served cold or at room temperature ?


over 1 year ago Kim Peters

Added everything in the crisper that needed eating.. Some bok choy, fennel, leeks. Have made it before and it's always a winner. I don't strain it, but use my immersion blender to really blitz it.