Celery roasted with a little fennel and garlic and then pureed with chicken broth and potatoes makes for a nice starter or light lunch. A touch of half and half or cream with a spritz of lemon finishes it off. —inpatskitchen
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Inpatskitchen is a prolific FOOD52er and -- as a retired teacher, paralegal, and seafood retailer -- a bit of a cook of all trades, too.
WHAT: A simple and elegant twist on cream of celery soup.
HOW: By roasting the celery and fennel, and boiling the potatoes in broth, inpatskitchen builds a lovely foundation of flavors. And of course, cream to finish is always a great idea.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This soup truly elevates humble, plain vegetables that are usually relegated to a garnish plate or side dish to a higher plane of existence. Given proper attention, lo and behold, they shine. —The Editors
almost 2 quarts
large celery stalks cut into 2 inch pieces
bulb fresh fennel cut into 2 inch chunks
large whole garlic cloves
medium redskin potatoes, peeled and cut into a 1 1/2 inch dice
light cream or half and half
fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper for re seasoning if needed
Celery leaves and fennel fronds for a little garnish
Place the cut celery, fennel and cloves of garlic in a 9x13 inch roasting pan. Add the salt, pepper and olive oil and toss to thoroughly coat everything. Roast in a 350F oven for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the edges of the vegetables just begin to brown.
While the vegetables are cooking, cook the potatoes in the chicken broth until tender..about 10 to 12 minutes. Set the pan aside to cool a bit.
When the vegetables have finished roasting add them to the potatoes and broth. Let everything cool a bit.
In a blender puree the soup in batches. If you have a "liquify" setting on your blender use that. If you like you can strain the soup through a mesh strainer. Once pureed. return the soup to the pot and bring up to the boil. Stir in the cream/half and half and the lemon juice. Re season if needed and garnish each bowl with celery leaves and fennel fronds if you like.
NOTE: For a little more pronounced celery flavor add a pinch or two of celery seed or salt when re seasoning.
I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I learned...to this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining.
My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!