My mom has a very good friend who recently confessed to me that she had never made soup. “You’ve never made soup?” I cried, “How is that possible?”. I guess soup was just not a hot menu item at her house. She never learned, she never cared to. Fair enough I suppose. She had asked me to teach her some basic soup recipes a while ago and I guess I really should come up with some kind of lesson plan for that, but until I get around to it maybe we’ll start with a few basics on here. First up:

cream of celery soup

I don’t want to throw you for too big of a curveball with the whole “cream of chicken” thing, so we’ll keep this pretty straight forward. It only has a few ingredients, and I feel confidant that even the most inexperienced soup maker can handle this one. And yes, it is delicious. Don’t worry too much about feeling like you are a 80 or so while slurping this down. It’s great.

2 tbsp butter

8 stalks celery, chopped up

1/2 an onion, sliced 

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped up

2 litres of chicken or vegetable stock

 1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup light cream

salt and pepper

Put the first amount of butter in a large, heavy bottomed, pot set over medium high heat. Let it melt and start to foam up a little. Add the onion and celery. Stir it up so that everything is well coated with butter. Stir lazily, scraping the bottom of the pot so the veggies don’t burn. When they begin looking translucent add the garlic. Stir it up for a minute. Add the stock. Stir well and then leave it alone. Let the soup come up to a boil and then turn it to medium low. Let the soup do its soupy thing for about an hour.  Stir it a couple of times here and there. Meanwhile soften the second amount of butter in the microwave (if it is not already soft) and mix it thoroughly with the flour. This mixture is called either buerre manie or roux. Puree the soup in the pot with a handheld mixer or alternately in a blender in several small batches. Return it to the pot and set the heat to medium. Use a whisk to beat in the roux until there are no lumps remaining.  Let the soup cook for another 10 minutes. Add the cream. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper as you see fit. Et voila! Cream of celery. Serve it up, crush some soda crackers on top. Eat it. Love it. Freeze it in batches if you like. I’ve been using this as a substitute for canned cream of chicken when it is called for in recipes. Yay! Soup!

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