Make Ahead

Jane Grigson's Celery Soup

June 20, 2021
11 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 57 minutes
  • Serves 4, 6 if the rest of the meal is fairly copious
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

What You'll Need
  • 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 cup milk (optional, up to 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Russel Stromberg
    Russel Stromberg
  • FrugalCat
  • Sharon Hanna
    Sharon Hanna
  • Andree Drolet
    Andree Drolet
  • Carol Dan
    Carol Dan
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

62 Reviews

Pam S. November 14, 2022
A few people have asked over the years whether this soup can be frozen, but I don’t see any responses to that question. Wondering if anyone has tried it and if so, what was the result?
Susie S. November 21, 2022
I too would like to know if this soup can be frozen Pam. The butter in the recipe gives me pause. I want to make it in advance for Christmas so I will cook as usual and keep a tiny test batch separate and thaw and assess beforehand to see if it works. I’ll let you know!
Russel S. June 20, 2021
I subbed thyme, Aleppo pepper and cayenne for the dill. Wow. This is awesome. Restaurant night at home.
Russel S. June 20, 2021
And subbed ghee for butter.
FrugalCat May 18, 2020
Use all the parts of the celery. I find the leaves add great flavor and since this is pureed, you can't even tell.
ubs2007 February 24, 2019
"Creamy, scrumptious and thick beyond your wildest dreams!!!" says my 11 yr old who took seconds. I derived only 4 servings from the recipe and my soup was quite thick so not sure if I did something wrong. This is the best soup recipe I have come across on this site, despite having tried all genius and popular soups. Many thanks!!!!!!
ubs2007 February 24, 2019
My mistake: the directions were exacting. It said 4 servings and that is how much was served.
Maya October 12, 2017
I just made this soup, with a few alterations and it was AMAZING. I read the comments and decided to add only half the amount of liquid - water in this case to make it vegetarian. I didn't have any dill so I left it out and didn't add the milk or cream. It was still super creamy and flavourful. I will for sure be making this again soon!
Monica August 28, 2017
I made this minus the following as I didn't have them on hand: onion, milk, cream and chicken stock. Items I added were, the ends of bok choi I had lying around, a full potato, onion powder, vege stock and half a cup of fresh dill. It was still delicious! It was still creamy too, without the milk and cream. I didn't think humble old celery could be the star of a dish but there you go.
Monica August 28, 2017
Oh and I threw in the celery leaves too
Sharon H. November 14, 2016
Made this just now; based on what others said about the chicken broth being too strong-tasting used about half water and half broth. It's good - no doubt due to the butter at the beginning for sure. Next time I will try it using water only.....I still find the broth detracts from the celery taste. If you are going to follow the directions and use a sieve (which is really optional)....don't use too fine a sieve! Otherwise the soup will get stuck.
Andree D. February 12, 2016
One word Deeeeelicious !
Andree D. July 3, 2016
And delicious cold too on a hot summer day :P

Carol D. January 17, 2016
I made this for a chef job I did - a dinner in a private home for 18 people. The soup is thin, as noted, which made it perfect to use as a passed hors d'oeurve, (in tiny glasses). Despite it's thin consistency, the flavor is deep and satisfying. I used celery and celeriac (in place of the potato) - and used no milk or cream. I needed to keep the soup vegetarian, so made a homemade vegetable broth with extra celery in it. (commercial vegetable broth would be too sweet) - This is the best version of celery soup I've ever made, I'll be using this recipe from now on.
lloreen November 23, 2015
I happened to have some left-over fennel stalks (never know what to do with those) so I threw them into the pot with the celery. Also used some coconut milk instead of cream. For my tastes, it needed a bit of heat, so I added a dash of cayenne. It was a big hit! Such a cheap and satisfying soup elegant enough for company.
lovinangels September 6, 2015
This soup is so perfect that my daughter is requesting it for her sweet 16 birthday meal. As opposed to going out to eat! I serve it with salad and popovers (a little dill in those as well) and it's a favorite in our house.
RB August 18, 2015
For the celery, just the stalk or leaves included?
Stephanie K. August 18, 2015
I used the stalk only.
RB August 18, 2015
Thanks, Stephanie. Sorry I missed that! That detail was right on the ingredients list! Age. :) Thanks again.
Stephanie K. July 6, 2015
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!
Sally June 8, 2015
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.
Lenka May 27, 2015
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.
Cammie March 25, 2015
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!!
Christina M. February 20, 2015
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.
Iris9 January 18, 2015
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.
PamellaB January 7, 2015
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. :-)
robin L. October 15, 2014
sorry for barrage of questions, but does this soup freeze okay? or not recommended?