Saturday, 10 May 2014

year-old celery and oregano soup



... last year, in some kind of moment of madness I planted 3 planters in the garden with celery... I like celery and use it a lot but not enough to use so very many bunches of the stuff and when the measly shoots started to grow and I realised that the gorgeous thick stalks I was used to buying in the markets weren't going to materialise I kinda forgot all about them and let them drift off into celery heaven... although they didn't quite fade away... and then, a couple of weekends ago when The Viking made one last ditch attempt to nag a celery recipe out of me I finally took to the internet to work out what, if anything, I could do with year-old celery.

and funnily enough there's quite a lot of chatter out there about celery and in particular, old celery... apparently the thing to do is leave your celery to wilt and turn pale and only at that point is when you should use it, the stuff we buy fresh and crisp from the store holds none of the mellow flavour of two-week old fridge celery... and so I placed my year-old celery into the vegetable tray and turned it into year-and-two-week-old celery, which in turn was turned into soup... are you keeping up?


year-old celery and oregano soup
celery soup is one of those rather delecate things that has a beautiful subtle flavour, almost like an undertone so I like to add a few things to boost it up a little... firstly I added peas and carrots as I was a little worried that the celery would still be too bitter to use alone... and secondly i added a tonne of oregano for no other reason than the fact that I have a huge bush growing in a pot in the garden and I thought the combo would be perfect seeing that the italians use a lot of celery in their cooking...

1 onion - chopped
3 bunches of year-old celery with celery leaves (roughly 600g) - chopped
2 carrots - finely chopped
2 garlic cloves - crushed
a large handful of fresh oregano
150g frozen peas
2 pints good quality vegetable stock
plenty of butter and olive oil and seasoning

in a large pan melt some butter with olive oil and gently saute the onions until beginning to soften then add the celery and carrots and with the lid on and the heat low, let them slowly saute until soft

throw in the oregano and garlic and give the whole thing a stir and then another 6 or 7 minutes gently sweating with the lid on

throw in the peas and then pour in the stock and let it simmer for 20 mins before whizzing with a hand-blender until smooth - celery can be quite stringy so I passed this through a sieve before serving but it's up to you if you like your soup a little textured.

this glorious soup is being entered into the Cooking with Herbs challenge from Karen over at Lavender and Lovage and of course it's going over to Jaq from Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa from Lisa's Kitchen for their No Croutons Required soupalicious challenge!




eat and of course, enjoy!

19 comments:

  1. Sounds lovely Dom, I love celery and nice to see a different recipe instead of Cream of... It's a lovely colour, thank heavens for that huge bush of yours ;-)

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    1. Darling my bush has never been greener!

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  2. It looks wonderful Dom. I love the smell of celery. There is a field near us that gives off a wonderful aroma. Hadn't heard of the old celery tip though. I tend to add it to soup or to sandwiches with cheese.

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    1. Thanks J. Wow. A field of celery. How amazing.

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  3. Funny you should mention celery. It's been on my mind for the last few days - trying to come up with something unique to do with it. In human years I'd say your celery is about my age.

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  4. I love it! Why do you suppose your celery didn't look like supermarkets celery? Is it hard to grow? I've never attempted to grow celery, and I was thinking this would be the year, but now I'm a little skeptical.

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    1. Thanks. I don't know? It just never thickened up. Tasted very good though so who knows?

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  5. Well, your year-old celery looks not much different to my months-old Leaf Celery, which is apparently used mainly for flavouring soups and stocks. I also have loads of Oregano, so who knows, maybe I'll make some soup...

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  6. Sounds delicous, how fab to find use for last year's celery!

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  7. What a beautiful looking soup! I bet it tasted fantastic :)

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  8. Ah, Dom, you've just reminded me that I planted some celeriac about six months ago, I must go and see how it's doing. The trouble is, when things have been growing for ages I feel really bad harvesting them. Is that mad? I have loads of oregano too. And parsley. And clover. Have you got a recipe using that?!

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  9. Yay another celery fan! I really have always loved celery even as a child but not everyone shares the love! Love it in soup too, its good to see it made a feature of!

    I got a complaint the other day 'what was in my lunch today' - 'why darling' -'I didn't like it, was bitter and horrible' - ' ah that will be the celery then'. At least he eats it cooked in a stir fry!

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  10. Dom, that is a fine looking soup! I've never made celery soup, but when I do I think I'd definitely put it through a sieve to eliminate any of those notorious celery strings.

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  11. I ADORE celery in soup and yours looks amazing Dom! Thanks for adding it to Cooking with Herbs! Karen

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  12. "Belleau Kitchen" has been included in Sites To See #369. Be assured that I hope this helps to point many new visitors in your direction.

    http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/2014/05/sites-to-see-369.html

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  13. Oh what a good idea. The only time I tried growing celery, I found the stalks to bitter and didn't really use them. Now, if ever I try again, I shall know what to do with them!

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  14. This is gorgeous. Celery is too often an underappreciated vegetable and I love what you have done with it here. Thank you for submitting this to NCR. The roundup is a bit late this month, but it is on the way soon.

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