Garlicky Cream of Celery Soup
- 12 large celery stalks, divided
- 2 T canola oil, divided
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T unbleached white flour or regular all purpose
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 tsp salt-free herb and spice seasoning mix
- 1/4 cup mixed chopped fresh parsley and dill
- 1/4 cup celery leaves
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk or soy milk, as needed
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- chopped fresh dill or parsley for garnish
- Trim 10 stalks of celery and cut them into 1/2 inch dice.
- Trim the remaining 2 stalks, cut them into 1/4″ dice and set aside.
- Heat 1 T of the oil in a soup pot. Add the onions and garlic and sauté over medium heat until the onions are golden. Sprinkle in the flour and stir it in until it disappears. Add the 10 stalks of celery, the potatoes and just enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer, then add the seasoning mix, fresh herbs and celery leaves.
- Simmer gently until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- With a slotted spoon, transfer the solid ingredients to a food processor or blender and puree, in batches, until very smooth.
- Stir back into the soup pot. Return to a very low heat and add enough milk or soy milk to achieve a slightly thick consistency.
- Heat the remaining oil in a small skillet. Add the reserved celery and sauté over moderate heat until it is touched with golden spots. Add to the soup, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve at once or allow the soup to stand for an hour or so, then heat through as needed.
- Garnish each serving with chopped dill or parsley
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