Monday, January 11, 2010

Reunited and it feels so good

First, the more important reunion: SPH and I, on Friday night, after a weeklong work trip to Dallas. I can honestly say my stomach fluttered when he returned, a nice feeling to have after almost 10 years of wedded bliss. But it is hard to say if I, or the two Sweet Peas, were more excited to see him home. While the week went amazingly smooth, after a week long absence, which ended on Friday with a snow day, seeing SPH back home was wonderful.

Second, a less important, but still notable reunion: me and Cream of __________ Soup. Cream of Mushroom. Cream of Celery. Cream of Chicken. What most of these “Cream of” soups have in common is that they could be called “Cream of Hydrolyzed Funk.” While there are a lot of fast, kid-friendly and easy recipes that use Cream of ___________ Soup, I had abandoned them all because of their long list of UFIs in the ingredient list.

Not anymore.

After a long search which turned up empty, I have come up with my own version of homemade Cream of Celery Soup. I used this soup in Green Bean Casserole, and it was delicious. Now I am going back to all my old recipes to find where I can use my new version to make old recipes.

Why Cream of Celery? Well, a couple reasons: first, I wanted to make a vegetarian version, so chicken was out. Second, I wanted to make a version my kids would eat, so mushroom was out (their mushroom radar has reached peak performance, with not so much as a mushroom iota going undetected). Third, I had celery in my crisper.

So my Ten-rrific Recipe #7 is: Cream of Celery Soup. Certainly not the most alluring recipe I have ever typed on this blog, but one that I figure will become a go-to for some of you natural eaters who have been missing some of your old recipes.

Cream of Celery Soup

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 celery rib, diced
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups skim milk
½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
½ teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

In a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, celery and garlic, and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the onions begin to brown a bit.

Stir in flour, mixing well to fully incorporate. Gradually add the milk, stirring well as you add to ensure no clumping of the flour bits. Once the flour is fully incorporated into the milk, continue stirring and add the worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then simmer for a few minutes.

Voila! Funk-free Cream of Celery Soup

Makes about the same amount as a can of Cream of Celery Soup.



Slacker Mama said...

This is a great idea...however, this is one recipe I most certainly won't try! I hate celery! HATE HATE HATE it! I even gag a bit when chopping it for you chicken tetrazinni recipe! Jenn can attest that I even have a "Celery face" which occurs when I inadvertently ingest some!

If you wanted to do mushrooms, however, could you sub those in, instead? And if so, about how much?

Sweet Pea Chef said...

TOO funny. So, do you like celery?

Yes, I should have written that on the could use mushrooms, chicken, broccoli, whatever.

I would do about 1/2 cup.

whitneyingram said...

Oh celery is delightful! Just lovely. When I was growing up, my mom always kept a bowl of cut celery sticks in the fridge. And I remember coming home from school, dipping into the bowl, drying off the celery sticks and spreading peanut butter on them. MMMMMM.

Broccoli sounds really good too though.

Bravo to you SPC for doing what I like to do- showing up The Man. Who needs to buy cans of cream of whatever soup when you can make it and it tastes 100 times better? Have you ever read Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food"? You should. Check that out of the library next time you guys are there. It will change your life.

Laura said...

Thanks! The recipe I have been using is rather lack-luster, so I am looking forward for the opportunity to give this a whirl!

Live.Love.Eat said...

2 awesome things: that you loved having your hubs home that much. Very sweet. And that you made homemade cream of celery because I am like you and stay away from them as much as I can. Canned glob.

Anonymous said...

hi i see that this is really old, all the way from last year. i have a few Q's. Can you freeze this? Can you can it? and can you use this in the crock pot, such as with meats ect? TY

Anonymous said...

Is there a way to make this in bulk to have on hand so that you don't have to make the soup each time you needed it? Any ideas?? Thanks for your input!!

Sweet Pea Chef said...

I've had others suggest making a big batch and freezing it in can-size portions. I haven't tried this yet, but I think it would work brilliantly!

InspiredByInk said...

THanks! I too hate it when recipes say 'add a can of this and 2 cans of that' like it's okay. I will definitely be trying this. Probably in a chicken form since my kids don't like celery in food, raw is fine. Or I might just blend it up real good lol.

Thanks again. New reader & I will be adding you to my google reader.


Jenny said...

Thank you! For those of us who live overseas and can't easily find Cream of -- Soup (even if we wanted it) this recipe is a big help