Chunky Celery Soup Recipe

A chunky celery soup perfect for a winter day - celery, carrots, a potato, an onion, a bit of garlic, and some leftover wild rice.

Chunky Celery Soup

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.

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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.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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looks divine, will make this week, thanks!


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


"Tis the season for creative soup making!

Michelle @ What Does Your Body Good?

Celery leaf pesto!? That is brilliant.


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

Healthy Food

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.


Thanks for the delicious recipe.


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

Organic Goodness

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

Fit Bottomed Girls

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


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


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.

the purcells

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 Wind Attack

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.


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!

Laurel from Simple Spoonful

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


This sounds great - love anything with pesto in it!

Tabitha (From Single to Married)

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!

Jen (Modern Beet)

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


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! :)


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