Cream of Celery Soup…An Exercise in Better Uses for Celery.


Celery…conjuring memories of low-fat diets since the 1980’s. Relegated to the crudite platter.


Ahhh…FANCY ants on a log. You can do better celery. You can do better. (Pic snagged from Pinterest).

Such a sad existence. Now, I’m not telling you to spearhead some sort of Celery Festival equipped with it’s own Celery Queen riding astride a large green float and waving wistfully to the crowd. What I am saying is you should give celery a second try…just not in the form you’re familiar with. Paired with some really good butter and a whole lotta cream your ol’ standby celery can go from the dark, lonely corners of the vegetable bin to something pretty fabulous. I stumbled upon cream of celery soup (no, not the red-and-white canned kind) when I was trying to use up a couple of bunches of celery that were going nowhere fast. It was chilly at the time and a big ol’ bowl of soup sounded pretty delightful. Peering into my generally packed-to-the-hilt fridge, I found a motley crew of a stick of butter, a pint of cream, our sad celery, and some chicken stock.  With a serious case of the lazies, I donned my kitchen apron over my PJs and got to work.  A little saute with some bits of onion in a few tablespoons of butter, simmered in chicken stock, pureed, and topped off with cream—winner! Best news is it is packed with nutrients and no flour is required to thicken the soup (feel free to roll with a classic roux, but I really prefer it without). The good portion of fat keeps you full too (ahem–not to mention it tastes ah-mazing!). Tonight this little beauty serves as a starter to our pre-hurricaine dinner. No better time to clear out the far reaches of the fridge!

Cream of Celery Soup

  • 2 bunches of celery (about 350g)
  • 1/2 small onion (about 50g)
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock
  • 0.5 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • salt to taste
  • peppercorn melange to taste (black pepper works well too)

Roughly chop the celery and onions while melting the butter in a large saute pan. After the butter is finished foaming, place the celery and onions in and saute until beginning to soften. Add 1.5 cups of chicken stock and the bay leaf and simmer until all bits are cooked through and soft. Remove the bay leaf, remove the pan from the heat, and cool a bit. Process until smooth in a heavy duty blender (like a Vitamix!). Return the soup to your pan and slowly stir in the heavy cream. Add a small amount of water or cook off a little liquid to perfect the consistency (since we didn’t use a roux as a thickener). Adjust seasonings.

You can certainly strain the small bits of celery fiber through a fine strainer (like a bouillon strainer or fine chinois cap), but most of the time I prefer to leave them in for a little heft. A super smooth, strained soup does however, make a nice accoutrement to a fine dinner. Add a drizzle of chive or parsley oil for an added punch of flavor and a little color. And just like that, your sad and lonely celery becomes a star!




White Onion Soup


Search ‘onion soup recipes’ and you’ll find almost 6 million results…nearly all of them concerned with the French onion soup we’ve all grown to love. If the beefy, buttery, cheese-and-crouton soup is peasant food, then white onion soup is it’s long-lost, classy cousin. The two are in no way similar other than being soup and having a base of onions. The classic French onion soup calls for caramelized onions and beef broth while white onion soup calls for softened onions and cream. One is deep brown in color while the other is a pristine snow white palate. As far as flavor, white onion soup does taste of onions (obviously) but not overwhelmingly so while floral notes peak through a creamy, buttery base. It’s divine. And simple. Just a handful of ingredients are required to create a truly delightful bowl of soup. It’s a great meal on it’s own, paired with a salad, or as a starter for beef, lamb, and pork meals.  Along with cream of celery, it’s one of my ‘go to’ soups. Even if you’re not crazy about onions, give white onion soup a try (just get those tissues ready–it’s a pile of onion to cut!).


I couldn’t help it!

White Onion Soup

  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 3 pounds of onions, sliced
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 2 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt to taste

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.  When the butter’s foam subsides, add the celery and cook until it begins to soften, a few minutes. Add the onion and cook until translucent and soft, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue to cook the onions until they are very soft, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes.


The onions need to be very soft, but don’t let them brown.

Do not let the onion brown. Add the chicken stock and process in small batches in a blender until smooth (if you are using a regular blender, this may take 2-4 minutes per batch). Return the soup to the pot and add white pepper and cream. Heat thoroughly. Add 2 TBSP of parmesean. Salt to taste.


This soup is so good on it’s own that you don’t need many accouterments.  A little chive oil and peppercorn melange suits just fine. 


Roasted walnut oil, roasted beets, and red onion jam fit nicely too. Golden crunchy potato strings or cheesy croutons and white truffle oil would work as well.

My favorite additions are a dotting of chive oil and a sprinkling of peppercorn melange. We’ve also tried walnut oil, roasted beets, and red onion jam.  I’m itching to try some crunchy potato strings or cheesy croutons and white truffle oil.


Nutrition per 8 oz. cup: Cal 212 kcal, Fat 15.1g, Sat Fat 9.7g, Chol 44.4mg, Carb 15.1g, Fiber 2.6g, Sugar 7.2g,  Protein 5.3g

Onions have higher levels of tryptophan, B vitamins and vitamins A and C, copper, manganese, and phosphorus. Onions are a prebiotic and are high in polyphenols, expecially flavanoids like quercetin.


Creamy Turnip Soup


So, I found myself with an ungodly number of turnips. Now usually I would get a vat of greens going, with a little smoked oddity thrown in, and then add handfuls of wedged turnips somewhere near the end for a delightful addition to just about any meal. But alas, there I was, full of turnips and no greens in sight. What’s a girl to do?  Turnip soup of course! I thought for a millisecond about roasting them, but they were a little larger than I like and those tend to be a little bitter I’ve found. Unfortunately, roasting sometimes brings out that bitterness in my experience (did you know your genes determine whether you find turnips to be intolerably bitter?  Seriously!). So, soup it was. And boy, did it turn out good!


About the top limit on size…the smaller, the less bitter.

The recipe makes about 8 full cups and makes use of about 1/2 of a large potato and a blender to produce creaminess without tons of heavy cream or making a roux.  A swirl of roasted walnut oil and some chives as a garnish make for a good presentation and seem to simultaneously liven it up and soften it.  A drizzle of browned butter and tiny croutons works too. If your turnips are more bitter than you care for, try a pinch of salt if you’re salt is not optimized or try a tiny pinch of sugar, although salt is purported to be better at decreasing bitterness:  The smaller the turnip , the less bitter it will be.  That being said, I’ve made this soup with large turnips before and only ended up with the slightest pungent note at the tail end, somewhat like cabbage, and it was a great contrast to the potato-like start.  But hey, maybe my genetic blessings let me love the ‘lowly’ turnip!

If you’re going full-tilt paleo, try using Japanese Sweet Potato, White Yams, or Classic Sweet Potatoes–NOT the orangey ‘yams/sweet potatoes’.  I have access to Japanese Sweet Potatoes and they work fine for thickening soups without being overtly sweet like they are when roasted and become caramelized.  Even if you use a sweeter potato I don’t think it would hurt here, especially if your turnips are bigger and possibly prone to bitterness (I’ll try it next time and report back).  Skip the cream and butter if you’d like (tell me you wouldn’t??), more of the turnip flavor will shine so be aware.  A great way to change this soup up is to add other veggies such as carrot, celery, celery root, parsnip, or parsley root. I love the taste of turnips, so I like to let them shine on their own. You can also try substituting cannellini beans (nutty, earthy, smooth) or great northern beans (grainier, nutty) or navy beans (mild, smooth) for the potato.


Silky smooth, potato-esque start, slightly pungent finish, nutty warmth from roasted walnut oil and brightness from snipped chives. Tastes like fall!

Creamy Turnip Soup

  • 24 ounces cleaned, peeled, and cubed turnips (about 4-5 medium or 8 small/baby turnips)
  • 6 ounces Russet, or other starchy potato (see note above), cubed (peel if you like or if it’s a sweet potato)
  • 6-8 cups filtered water
  • 2 tsp organic paste chicken bouillon, I use Better than Bouillon unless I have frozen homemade stock available ( Using your own stock assures quality and ingredients but sometimes ya just don’t have any in the freezer!
  • 1/4 c. heavy cream
  • 2 TBSP salted butter
  • 6 quart pot
  1. Place peeled and cubed turnips and potato in 6 quart pot. Cover with filtered water until water level is about 1/2 inch above turnips (about 6 cups or so).
  2. Bring to a medium boil over medium high heat. Add 2 tsp paste bouillon (enough to help flavor but not overpower the turnip, adjust as you see fit).
  3. Boil turnips and potato until a fork easily pierces the centers of both and they are mostly translucent.  Do not overcook. They should not fall apart. Do not drain liquid.
  4. Allow to cool enough to handle in a blender.
  5. Working in small batches (so blender does not overflow and a smoother texture is obtained), place turnip-potato mixture and some of its juices in the blender. Leave lid slightly ajar (not too much!) for steam to escape and process until silky smooth (you may need to run each batch for a couple of minutes depending on your blender).
  6. Transfer smooth soup back to pot.
  7. Temper the 1/4 cup heavy cream by slowly adding a small amount of soup to it until it is about the same temperature of the soup in the pot. Then slowly add the tempered cream back to the soup in the pot and whisk in. Add butter and stir to incorporate. By now you should have a subtle, lovely shimmer to your creamy soup.  The cream and butter also seem to mellow the turnip a tad for those with less pungent palates.
  8. Taste and season as necessary with salt and/or sugar (see notes above).
  9. Dress with a swirl of roasted walnut oil (Limerock is nice and snippets of chives, browned butter and teenie croutons, fried or caramelized onions, sautéed turnip greens (for the life of me I can’t cook those!), or plain ol’ cracked black pepper.  Each slightly changes what side of the turnip is presented. So many bowls, so little time!

**I think letting the soup cool a tad mellows the pungency of the turnip (Not exactly room temperature, but you shouldn’t be blowing on it–like Goldilocks…”not too hot, not too cold”).  If you’ve got someone in your house that doesn’t love turnips, this may be an option.**