Do you often buy a big bunch of celery with lots of delicious intentions in mind, and then let them hang out in the fridge for more than a week before you finally notice their sad wilting leaves, only this time you have no mouth-watering inspiration up your sleeves? Well this recipe is going to save your celeries from their sad state.
I first noticed this gorgeous recipe when it won the Food52 “YOUR BEST CELERY” contest. The winner, inpatskitchen, frequently posts many delectable recipes on the site. But this one, this one really caught my eye. Yes, in part because I was desperate to deliver those sad looking celery stalks I had in my fridge from their miseries. And also because… well I’ve never had a celery soup before. I’ve eaten them roasted, in a salad, thrown chunks of it in a soup with carrots and other things, but never ROASTED and then TURNED INTO a soup. It sounded delicious.
The original recipe calls for a fennel bulb, but unfortunately fennel bulbs are difficult to find in Singapore and when you do find them, they have a ridiculous price tag. The same price tag that a Pakistani mango in a French supermarket has in the dead of winter. So I chose to omit them and used fennel seeds instead. And they turned out really fragrant post-roasting. I also threw in a couple of sweet potatoes because I had them in hand and didn’t want them to start growing funny looking sprouts. And I really like that they gave a subtle sweetness to the soup. Needless to say, we devoured this soup for dinner and breakfast the next morning. And who cares if it’s 35 degrees C out in Singapore?
Roasted Celery Soup – A Sweeter Version
Adapted from this recipe
Makes around 2 litres
- 10 large celery stalks cut into 10cm pieces
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 3 large whole garlic cloves, smashed with their peel intact
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper
- 1 medium potato, peeled and cut into dice
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into dice
- 6 cups chicken broth/ vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- a pinch of sugar
- a pinch of chilli flakes
ROAST YOUR CELERY STALKS: Preheat your oven to 180 C or 350 F. Place the celery, fennel seeds and cloves of garlic in a roasting pan. Season well with salt, pepper and olive oil. Roast in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring mid way through, until the edges of the vegetables take on a nice brown colour. Do not burn them though.
In the meantime you can BOIL THE POTATOES (and sweet potatoes) in the chicken broth/ vegetable stock until tender..about 10 minutes.
When the vegetables have finished roasting, peel the skin off the garlic. Add all the roasted vegetables to the potatoes and broth. Let sit for a while until cool.
With an immersion blender, PUREE ALL THE VEGETABLES UNTIL SMOOTH. You can also do this in a normal blender. Once pureed, return the soup to the pot and bring to the boil. Stir in the milk and the lemon juice and let cook for another minute or two. Taste for salt, pepper and sugar. Serve with a nice crusty bread and a sprinkle of chilli flakes on top.