A Week with Green Things

The theme this week at the cooking club is eating your greens just in time for our St. Patrick’s Day feast and besides the buttery braised cabbage a new addition stepped in for an appetizer, cream of celery, and leek soup. What a great easy soup for any day…I topped our creamy soup with Crème fraîche and parsley flakes…a few other favorite toppings are finely diced celery, chopped chives, or all of the above.

The cooking time for the soup is short compared to the prep time if you are really lazy buy all of the ingredients already prepped in the produce section at your store, but you won’t find plucked and chopped celery leaves. My preference for cooking a nicely seasoned and flavorful bowl of goodness is to use the Instant Pot.

Yotam Ottolenghi has a fabulous recipe that features peas more so than the celery, but since I needed to use celery and I had no peas this plain but flavorful celery and leek soup is one that I adapted and decided to put in my favorites file…

Ingredients:

2 leeks, trimmed and cleaned white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and halved again chopped
1/2 large sweet onion diced
1 large shallot chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 heads of celery, the freshest and prettiest that you can find, cleaned ribs halved and chopped( also use lots of the leaves about 1/2-3/4 -1 cup chopped)ya never know how the celery is trimmed leaves…I had about 6-7 cups
1 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 bay leave
3 sprigs of thyme leaves
A few pinches of dried marjoram
1/4 cup chopped parsley
4 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
3/4 cup of heavy cream
Freshly ground pepper, about 1/4 teaspoon or more to taste
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
A Pinch of ground nutmeg, I used a nutmeg grater and about 3 or 4 grates for a large pot of soup

*Notes: If necessary thicken the soup with potato flakes, whisk it into the finished soup gradually…a tablespoon at a time, I needed 5-6 tablespoons
remove bay leaves before blending the soup


1 tablespoon butter olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 additional tablespoon of butter stirred into the finished pot of soup

Sauté onions, leeks, and chopped celery:

Melt 3 tablespoons butter and butter olive oil 6-quart Instant Pot Pot on medium heat. Add the diced onion, the leeks, and 5 cups of the chopped celery. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes until softened, stirring often. Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute more.  Toss in the potato
Season with herbs and spices. Bring up to a simmer in the instant pot.  Reset pot to high pressure and close the valve, set timer for 12 minutes allowing for a natural release.  When the soup is finished fish out the bay leaves, add the cream, whiz with a stick blender, and season to taste. garnish with your choice of parsley flakes, minced celery, or Crème fraîche

Link to Yotam’s recipe;
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/jun/20/pea-leek-soup-new-vegetarian


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