This Cream of Celery Soup recipe has an interesting twist and a delicious flavour

The interesting twist in this Celery Soup Recipe is the addition of tart apples – try it – you'll love it!

How did I come upon the idea for this Apple and Celery Soup Recipe? Well, I was stuck in Europe during the whole Icelandic Volcano Ash Cloud incident where the entire European airspace was closed to flights and I had no way to get home. Sooooo, after days of trying to figure out the best route by train, car, bus or whatever to get myself to a functioning airport (without much success) I was in the need for comfort food.

In my experience, "comfort food" usually does not equate "healthy food" but at this point, I didn't much care. So, in my quest for comfort, I happened upon a restaurant which offered "Apple Celery Soup". It was a rich, creamy soup, with an ever-so-slight tint of green tone. You could taste the cream and butter but to be honest, the flavours were a bit understated for my palate. But the smooth creaminess of the soup did comfort me in my time of need (hey, it's not really that bad being stuck in Berlin – it could have been worse!). So as soon as I got home, I was determined to recreate the soup but add my own touches to perfect this Celery Soup Recipe. So this is what I came up with.

1 celery root
1 parsnip
1 stalk celery
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
1 tart green apple
1 small bunch parley
1 sprig rosemary
1 bay leaf
2-3 sprigs thyme
4 cups water
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups cream OR crème fraiche OR half-and-half
**I just discovered 5% soy milk cream for cooking (by Alpro). The soup came out great so if you don't want the fat and/or dairy product, this is a great solution!

Peel the celery root and parsnip and dice. The pieces do not have to be perfect because the soup is blended later but the dice should be fairly small. Chop the inner, light green part of the celery stalk – don't use the outer stalks because they are tougher and don't use the leaves. Peel and dice the apple.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a soup pot. Sautee the diced celery root, parsnip and celery stalks in the oil/butter until they just start turning golden in colour. Add the apple peices and 4 cups water. If you are using fresh herbs, tie them together with some kitchen twine (so they don't float around it the soup). It won't be a disaster by any means if you don't tie them – you'll just have to fish them out later. If you opt to use dried herbs instead of fresh, add them now. Simmer the soup until the vegetables are soft. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.

Fish out the herbs – especially the bay leaf and rosemary. With a slotted spoon, scoop out the vegetables from the soup and puree them in a blender or food processor. The goal is to have a smooth, creamy soup. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the cream/crème fraiche. Gently heat over a low light before serving.

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Did you know that…
Soups are easy to make and are terrific first courses for dieters. Vegetable-based broths fill you up without being high in calories or fat.

Did you know that…
Miso-fermented soybean paste-adds flavour to stocks, especially vegetarian broths. Add a tablespoon or so per quart of water, or to taste. Marmite can also add great flavour.

Did you know that…
Homemade vegetable broths can be kept in the freezer in individual serving sized portions to be used as a base for a quick meal.

Did you know that…
Cooking spray is a great way to cut back on calories without harming the flavour. If vegetables start to stick to the pan, add a tablespoon or so of water, wine or broth to keep them from burning.

Did you know that…
If you heat your spices for a minute or so over medium heat before adding them to your recipe it will enhance the flavour. Add dried herbs at the beginning of the cooking time, and fresh herbs right before serving.

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