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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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.


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!


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! :-)


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.


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!!


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


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


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


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!


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


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


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 !


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


it really does the trick for somethin hot after work

tom geoff

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!


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!


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