Forget that silly 25 Things About Me list on Facebook. I'm about to admit something a little embarrassing for a foodie like me. I consider myself a very open-minded eater. If you put most anything in front of me, no matter how exotic, I'll try it at least once. However, if someone told me that I was being sent to my own personal hell (tm)…I would have to eat celery every day for the rest of my life. There is something about it that just doesn't register as food to me. It's fibrous, it's almost flavorless (although its got a strong smell, IMO) ..and what do you do with it besides dip it in gobs of blue cheese or ranch dressing (a maneuver that I whole-heartedly approve of)!?
That having been said, I have been looking for recipes that will help me get over my food phobias and try some new things – the only thing I hate more than celery is carrots and don't try to convince me that I like them because I don't. (Not one bit). I digress. I got a great little soup compendium called 500 Soups with a wide variety of different types of recipes. Seeing this recipe made me suddenly remember a cream of celery soup that my mother used to make – very basic in that old-school kind of way. This version, however, twists it up with the addition of a healthy dose of sherry, a flavor I don't eat or cook with nearly enough. This soup is so easy – it came together from start to finish in about 30 minutes. I used the chopping attachment to the immersion blender to finely mince the onions, which let out a ton of flavor. The celery is mild and has great texture and is a wonderful counterpoint to the tang of the sherry. You can make this soup as chunky or as smooth as you prefer – I think it would be delicious either way.
Celery Soup with Sherry – serves 4 – recipe originally found in 500 Soups
– Cut one celery stalk into short fine stacks and set aside for garnishing the soup. You can also garnish with some of the crisper, brighter celery leaves. Thinly slice the remaining celery and set aside
– Melt the butter in a large saucepan or stockpot. Add the onion and cook gently for about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for an additonal minute. Gradually stir in the stock. Add the sliced celery and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the celery is tender.
– Pour half of the soup into a food processor or blender and process until smooth then return it to the pan. You can also use an immersion blender here, as well. Remember to be careful when blending hot liquids! Stir in the sherry, cream and parsley. Warm through without bringing it back to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve garnished with the celery garnish of your choice. Serve immediately.