Jane Grigson's Celery Soup

By • February 4, 2014 • 24 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 cup 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.

Comments (24) Questions (0)


4 days 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.


about 1 month ago MaureenOnTheCape

This is awesome. I chose to keep the bulk and not to strain but in every other way I made it as directed. I agree with other cooks who suggest this could also be a delicious and unique base for other soups. Highly versatile and a great use for celery on the way out.


about 1 month ago Alice Gardner

I was completely suprised about how good this was- I used to not like celery until today! I followed the recipe exactly and you should, too. I would strain if I was serving to company, but I didn't and it was still delicious. This recipe might be enough incentive to buy a food mill!


about 1 month ago J.B.

Dandy, delicious recipe. I added a few optional (extra potatoes), a boat load of herbs. Since it is on the thin side and since my DH thinks soup is not substantial I slow poached some pierogies in the soup and he thought I was the genius. Tasty indeed and we have enough for a second meal.


about 1 month ago Ingrid

Really delicious! No need for the milk. Use less stock and more potato for more substance. I used a blender and had no need to strain the soup. Quick, easy and a good use for left over celery.


about 1 month ago Nyborg

Great recipe, albeit I made a few adjustments: used 1/3 butter indicated, pulled the "strings" off the celery (or whatever they're called) beforehand, so no need for straining at all, used some softish tofu instead of milk or cream, and didn't have potatoes so used celery root instead. Excellent. Will make it again.


about 1 month ago robin lewis

This soup is perfect and simple and sublime!!!


about 1 month ago QueenOfGreen

I hope this isn't against 'the rules', but I used this as a base for creamy chicken noodle soup and it was delicious!


about 1 month ago jamiegirl

too decadent for me.. this came off more like a thin sauce than an actual soup.. would reduce the butter significantly if i attempted again


about 1 month ago sandra

I just want to say made your soup and it was terrific. You can view my attempt here: http://meadowscooks.blogspot...


about 1 month ago alia

When blending hot liquid, never fill the container more than 3/4 full. Then leave the button insert for the top off
and cover with a towel. This allows the hot air compression to be released and prevent the liquid from exploding out of the blender container. Blend on low speed to begin, then increase speed as the contents begin to liquify.


about 1 month ago laurieann

OM, fantastic flavor! Very comforting! I too, thought it was a little too thin...I'll be leaving the pulp in next time...didn't need the milk either. Also, since I never blended anything hot before, I had no idea to cool the soup down...cool the soup down before blending for those like me! So glad I was quick with the off button...could have had a mess or burned seriously otherwise. I will definitely be making this soup again though! Thanks for the idea...I always have leftover celery and never know what to do with it! THANK YOU!!!


2 months ago procrastibaker

I was looking for a way to use the celery that came with our CSA box this week, and this recipe fit the bill perfectly. I blended, but didn't bother to strain, since I wanted a slightly thicker soup, and didn't add any milk. Delicious, simple flavors that were extremely satisfying. Easy as all get out to throw together, too!


2 months ago Ann

I was actually a bit disappointed with this soup. Let it be said that I am a lover of soups, thick and thin, and am devoted to Genius Recipes, but this one just really wasn't genius enough. It's way too thin. The flavor was okay, though it could have used more celery, but way too watery. The first time I make something I do it exactly as the recipe reads, just to see how its creator wanted it to taste. But next time, assuming there is one, I'll add more vegetables. Sorry Food 52, but not a Genius recipe.


2 months ago Jennifer

Thoroughly delicious; I used leftover mashed potatoes (baby gold, cooked with skin on) instead of cooking them with the soup. Everyone in my family enjoyed this soup. Thanks for sharing it!


2 months ago Iris9

Wow, I am impressed. Like most people, I had a big fat stalk of stalks in the crisper that would have turned into mush. (By the way, I do think it's important to use nice firm celery because rotten celery is never good.) I didn't, however, have any dried or fresh dill, but it still turned out fabulous. I didn't even peel my potatoes or strain the soup, which I might after eating a bowl as-is. PS: Anointing the soup with olive oil is a lovely touch. PPS: I used a bouillon vegetable cube with four cups of water for the stock. This is on the keeper list!


2 months ago Jay Taylor

Just made this and had a delicious lunch! Halved the amounts of ingredients in this trial run.Mixed Smart Balance with the butter and a little EVOO. Blended, did not strain; did not add additional milk or cream due to lactose intolerance. Still smooth with a little bit of substance. Used low sodium chicken broth with a tad of Trader Joe's chicken broth concentrate and no additional salt--and forgot the pepper but still wonderful! Will make again......


2 months ago leroy

What did I do wrong? Maybe didn't puree it long enough? I followed the recipe and when I put the soup through the strainer I ended up with mucho pulp.....the liquid that went through is very good, but very watery - will use it in another sauce but would like to know what I did wrong so I won't do it again. Thanks for whatever advice you can give.


2 months ago Auntie Allyn

Very pleased with this recipe . . . it was quite delicious, light but satisfying, and simple to make. I'm so glad that I now have a way to use up leftover celery.


2 months ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Years ago I made a celery soup (called "Essence of Celery Soup") from a cookbook of my mom's. There was no cream or milk in it, and it was one of the best tasting, most comforting soups I'd ever eaten. I've completely lost the recipe. Looking at this one, I'm thinking it may become the basis for re-creating that soup. In the meantime, I'm going to make it as is. I LOVE celery soup!