RE: Cel;ery Soup!
CREAMED CELERY SOUP – 3 to 4 servings
1 bunch of celery, cleaned, some leaves reserved for garnish
1 Tbs. butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 Tbs. fresh parsley sprigs
1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup cooked rice
1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
3 cups milk
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (optional)
Paprika for garnish
[Notes: 1) Add rice to mixture to be pureed if you want a very smooth soup; add rice after pureeing if you want a little more texture to it. 2) Herbs such as tarragon or marjoram can be added with the chicken broth. 3) Grated cheddar cheese can be substituted for the blue cheese or it can be omitted altogether. 4) Half-and-half can be used for part or all of the milk for a richer soup. 5) You can freeze this recipe by following it but not adding the milk or cheese until after you defrost and reheat it.]
If outer stalks of celery have tough strings, pull them out when cleaning. Chop the celery and some of the leaves. In a 3 qt. pot, melt the butter and saute the celery and onion over medium low heat until onion is clear, about 20 minutes. Add 1 cup of chicken stock or more if needed to cover vegetables; add parsley. Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until celery is soft.
Puree in batches in blender or blend with stick blender until smooth. Add rice, salt, pepper and milk. Reduce heat to low and heat thoroughly, about 15 minutes. To serve, put about 1 Tbs. of the crumbled cheese (if using) in the bottom of each heated soup bow; fill with soup and garnish with paprika and celery leaves.
Note: For a smoother texture, add the rice before pureeing the celery mixture.