Chunky Celery Soup

Chunky Celery Soup Recipe


Today I introduce to you a chunky celery soup made from everything that needed to be used up in my kitchen - celery, carrots, a potato, an onion, a bit of garlic, and some leftover wild rice. And while it might sound a bit boring, this soup is exactly what you want on a cold night. It's a study in dualities - both hearty and light, chunky yet brothy, simple with plenty going on.

Chunky Celery Soup Recipe

My bunch of celery had plenty of lively celery leaves at its crown, so I decided to make a quick pesto-style drizzle with them. Sometimes it is hard to find celery with the leaves intact, and don't worry if you can't get them, the soup is delicious on its own. Alternately you might experiment with any thinned pesto you might have on hand (for ex: I made a parsley oregano pesto the other night, would have be great here), a tapenade might be good, or a drizzle of chile oil? I do love the way the celery leaf pesto heightens the celery flavor in the soup, but again - don't let it discourage you if you can't get them.

 
 
 
 

Chunky Celery Soup Recipe

Really, you can use just about any cooked medium-sized grain in this recipe. I chose wild rice because I love it alongside celery. You could try a plump brown rice, barley, or even wheatberry here with good results. AS I mentioned up above, I was lucky enough to come across celery with the leaves intact on top. I made a drizzle out of one cup (lightly packed) celery leaves, 1 large clove of garlic, about 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Puree all of these ingredients in a food processor for about 30 seconds.

1 large onion
1 large russet potato
3-4 small -medium carrots
10 medium-length stalks of celery, washed well
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 cups of lightly-flavored, great tasting, vegetable broth (or water)
2 cups cooked wild rice, brown rice, barley, or wheat berries

1/3 cup celery leaf pesto (optional, but see head notes)
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (optional)

Chop the onion, potato, carrots, and celery into pieces that are about 1/2-inch or smaller. Do your best to cut everything roughly the same size, this will keep cooking time across the ingredients somewhat uniform. You should end up with about 2 1/2 cups of chopped celery.

In a large thick-bottomed soup pot over medium high heat combine the olive oil, onion, potato, carrots, celery and a few big pinches of salt. Saute for about ten minutes or until the onions and celery soften a touch and expel some water. Stir in the garlic and add the stock. Bring to a simmer and let cook for another 10 minutes or until the celery, carrot and potatoes are just cooked through - resist the urge to over cook them into mush. Stir in the rice a few minutes before the potatoes and carrot are cooked though. Remove the soup from the heat and ladle into soup bowls. Top each with a generous drizzle of the celery leaf pesto (opt) and/or some Parmesan cheese.

Serves about 6.

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Your Comments


Nirvana
December 14, 2008

This looks wonderful. I recently made a similar soup although next time I make it I will add the wild rice as you did.

Thanks for sharing! :)

 

Kate
December 14, 2008

Perfect! I made the mistake of buying celery at Costco (tons!) and have been wondering what to do with it!

 

Jen (Modern Beet)
December 14, 2008

this sounds delicious! My boyfriend is a huge celery lover and has begun to convert me. The celery leaf pesto is a great idea -- thanks for the inspiration!

 

This sounds great - love anything with pesto in it!

 

Erin
December 14, 2008

That looks delicious. The flavor of celery is all too often shunted to the back, I like this front and center approach.

 

Laurel from Simple Spoonful
December 14, 2008

I love wild rice in soups.

And, like some of the other posters, I have some celery that needs using as well! Thanks, Heidi.

P.S. Made your thin mint cookies from Super Natural Cooking last night...yum!

 

Spike
December 14, 2008

Yay! By the way, I've now made the lima bean chipotle pepper soup, and the chickpea noodle soup (with fresh wild mushroom infused noodles) and they're both amazing. I trust all your soup recipes.

 

The Wind Attack
December 14, 2008

I love how you did the celery drizzle with the celery leaves... I always end up discarding them, but now I'll think twice!

 

the purcells
December 14, 2008

love this recipe! i've made a celery soup with wild rice before and was amazed at the depth and earthiness that celery adds as a featured ingredient.

 

Marie
December 14, 2008

I do so love your soup recipes. I have all of these items currently on hand.... soup it is.

 

Jenny
December 14, 2008

This looks awesome! Now I know what to do with all the celery I have! :-D

 

Fit Bottomed Girls
December 14, 2008

I usually prefer my celery raw to cooked, but this looks worth trying!

 

Organic Goodness
December 14, 2008

With all these days of baking sugar cookies and sweets a simple healthful soup is just what I need... Thanks!

 

kannan
December 15, 2008

Thanks for the delicious recipe.

 

jd
December 15, 2008

I can't wait to try this soup!

I'm normally not a huge fan of celery. However, I just ordered some lentil soup at a Mediterranean restaurant this weekend, and was commenting on how tasty the perfectly cooked chunks of celery were in it...

Now I'm inspired to try your recipe!

Yum.

 

Healthy Food
December 15, 2008

thanks for this delicious recipe,
love pesto,u made my day

 

Sarah
December 15, 2008

Celery leaf pesto!? That is brilliant.

 

"Tis the season for creative soup making!

 

Hayley
December 15, 2008

This looks so simple and nourishing. Perfect for a snowy lunch or dinner. Thanks Heidi!

 

martin
December 15, 2008

looks divine, will make this week, thanks!

 

Jennifer
December 15, 2008

That looks so good! I love when you can make something new out of what's in your house!

 

Jen
December 15, 2008

Fantastic idea for the pesto - I always hate to discard the celery leaves, seems such a waste. Looks delish!

 

Chris
December 15, 2008

I made (and blogged about) two soups last weeks using just what I had on hand, both with wheatberries, which have such wonderful chewiness. I added a little lacto-fermented sauerkraut to both the soups just before serving and it brightened the flavors of everything else and its crunchy complexity.

 

hmsuzy
December 15, 2008

TO Kate w/the tons of celery..... Celery is excellent in stir fry! Just add additional vegetables or whatever, my celery went amazing quick. As for the soup this is on my to do list, mainly because I will be able to taste the flavor and not have the celery hidden behind any cream or another bold vegetable. Heidi .... you have created another winner!

 

Darren
December 15, 2008

I recently made a similar soup, and instead of rice I used quinoa since I had some on hand and it was delicious as well!

 

Homie
December 15, 2008

Wonderful! I have all that stuff in my pantry and fridge too! This is a terrible time to let anything go to waste so I'm all for this......please share more "Waste not Want not" recipes! Thanks!

 

glutenfreeforgood
December 15, 2008

In light of the fact that it was -19 (yes, that's 19 BELOW ZERO) here last night, this soup looks perfect for today. Warm, comfort food. Just what I need. And I have most of the ingredients, including some leftover mixed brown rice. Thank you. I'm starting to count on you for delivering inspiration to my inbox on days like this.
:-)
Melissa

 

Katelyn
December 15, 2008

Looks wonderful...I love the green soup in the middle of winter - reminds me of summer in a comforting way!

 

Karen
December 15, 2008

I heart celery! We just got a couple of celery root bulbs in our CSA...I wonder if you could use them in place of the potato? Or maybe just add them in chunks for a double dose - mmm.
btw -just made your peanut cutter cookies - the BEST ever!

 

Christy
December 15, 2008

Quinoa sounds like it would be really good in this soup. Sounds lovely, and an excellent idea for the pesto.

 

Lily
December 15, 2008

This soup looks like like a wonderfully vibrant winter soup - - delicious! Your photos always highlight the dishes perfectly and really make you want to just reach into the computer screen and start munching!! (Or in this case, slurping! ) I'll have to try this some time. Simple but yummy recipes are my favorite!

 

Angela
December 15, 2008

You know, I always wonder what to do with celery. THIS looks like something good that's both nice for the waistline and the budget too. Thanks!

 

Royce
December 15, 2008

The recipe sounds great. Will make it. I just do not understand not using the leaves as some of the posts have stated. If nothing else, chop them up and mix with peanut butter. Makes a pb sandwich really fantastic. Also is great for adding to salsas for an extra kick (especially if you are not a cilantro fan or just don not have any on hand). The heart leaves are the best but the outer leaves are good also.

 

Barbara Ann
December 15, 2008

I am diabetic and it would be great if you could include the amount of carbs, protein, fats, etc. to all recipes to help me eat the proper foods for my condition. Thank you very much!

 

Katie
December 15, 2008

Amazing soup!
If you want it mild leave out the pesto
But the pesto gives it a great kick and is so quick and easy!
Thank you so much Heidi!

 

Laura
December 15, 2008

Just made this. EASY and yummy. Added broccoli that I had left over, and 2 cups of chicken broth, because that's what I had. Yummmm.....

 

Culinary Cory
December 15, 2008

I love coming up with new recipe ideas based on things I need to use up in my kitchen.

 

Lizbet
December 15, 2008

Yum. This looks really really good and perfect for someone who is not a great cook and a perfect thing to do with celery, esp. for a vegetarian.

 

Rachel Goldman
December 15, 2008

Normally I'm not the biggest fan of cooked celery (the taste? the texture?). But the potatoes make it look so good. I'm always happy to find hearty soup recipes.

 

katy
December 15, 2008

My new favorite soup! I'm already a celery maniac, leaves & heart & all but never would have thought of the pesto. Another stroke of genius Heidi! I added one more intensifier which I use all the time, even at the table: celery seed.(Sold in the spice section.) Thanks for this great recipe.

 

Dominique
December 15, 2008

I LOVE celery! I can't wait to try this. Thanks, yet again for another lovely recipe for me to meddle with.

 

colorwhisperer
December 15, 2008

Okay, they say timing is everything; well yours was perfect for this celery soup. With this weeks 25degree weather here in Portland, Or a warm hearty soup hit the spot..I subbed mushrooms for potatoes and some leftover lentil/amaranth for the rice...but it was still super yum! Thanks Heidi!

 

Girli
December 15, 2008

I'm grateful for the celery leaf pesto. I've been thinking of what to do with the leaves of the celery I buy. I'm also wondering if this will work with ginger, not just garlic, and chicken broth. Is it okay to use bouillion cubes?

 

Shannon
December 15, 2008

I love that you just took what needed to be used out of your fridge and made a soup with it! It sooo sounds like something I would do!

 

Kitchen M
December 15, 2008

mmm... sounds very healthy and the photo looks fantastic!
I'm trying it tomorrow. It will be perfect for the cold weather. :)

 

scorpio
December 16, 2008

I dont like celery
even though i am gonna try it.

 

Amy
December 16, 2008

I love making soups and stir-frys with leftover stuff in the kitchen pantry. Thanks for the tasty recipe.

 

MODman
December 16, 2008

On cold days nothing hits the spot more than making homemade soup on the fly. We often do the same thing here at the MODsquad. As always, your pictures are beautiful and the meals are delicious.

 

Stephanie
December 16, 2008

Celery is one of those veggies that I have never been able to like, but my husband and kids all love it so I think this will be a big hit in my house.

 

Greg Sprout
December 16, 2008

That sounds like a wonderful recipe. We call that sort of thing "comfort food"...it really would be great on a cold night! Thanks so much for the tip...Greg Sprout

 

radhi
December 16, 2008

this looks amazing as does everything on your site. your recipes have taken me and my cooking to a whole new inspired level. thank YOU!

 

terri
December 16, 2008

I made this last night and it was delicious. I was not sure it would have enough flavor but it was full of flavor. The only thing I changed was that I used orzo instead of the wild rice because that's what I had on hand and it was great. We had rueben sandwiches made on the panini grill and it was perfect for a 20 degree evening meal!

 

tom geoff
December 16, 2008

it really does the trick for somethin hot after work

 

Sunshinemom
December 16, 2008

Smells good and tastes great on screen! I just wish it would translate to 3D:(! Great for cold wintery nights!

 

Kismet
December 17, 2008

I am preparing it today, even though my husband does not like celery, I think he will love it ! I am looking forward to tasting it myself !

 

Sara
December 17, 2008

This sounds great. I wasn't sure when I saw the title but the recipe looks like it would be tasty.

 

Jenn
December 17, 2008

Gotta try this one! Looks really yummy and a really good idea on the Pesto. :-)

 

Heather
December 17, 2008

I made this tonight, and it was wonderful! I used Rapunzel's Sea Salt and Herb bouillon and threw in a 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne.

Thanks, Heidi!

 

Sara
December 17, 2008

This sounds great, I always have celery lurking in the fridge

 

Laura
December 18, 2008

Barbara Ann,
It sounds like you need to learn to figure that out yourself, instead of asking Heidi to do it...

 

s
December 18, 2008

I made this soup last night. It was absolutely amazing. The celery pesto for the soup was brilliant.

 

kcooley
December 18, 2008

How do I add this chunky celery soup recipe to my tastebook??? You should set up a short cut for your new recipes to be added.

BTW - Thank you so much for this site!!

 

magda
December 19, 2008

I love the soup - the best of its kind! I just need some advice on where to get celery leaf pesto. I tried Whole Foods but they didn't have it. If the only way is to make it yourself can I use the regular basil pesto?
Thanks.

 

hjohn
December 19, 2008

I absolutely love this idea! I am a MAJOR fan of celery. Just the fresh taste it leaves in your mouth is enough to make even the most unhappy campers smile. I also love the way that celery turns my stool that wonderful green hue. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. My bowel movements will never be the same!

:-)

 

Bethany
December 19, 2008

I am sitting here nursing a bad cold and my boyfriend is making a pot of your celery soup in the kitchen as I write this. I know it will be perfect meal for a sickie like me. Thanks for the inspiration!

HS: I hope you recover soon Bethany!

 

Deirdre
December 20, 2008

Loved the soup - did not like the pesto at all though. Thought it had too much oil and overpowered the delicate soup.

HS: I like the "pesto" thin enough to easily drizzle - you can really make it as thick or thin as you prefer - you could even add nuts or grated cheese, etc. We'll have to disagree about the flavor.