Cream of Celery Soup
Home Grown Tomatoes is a weekly Vegan/Vegetarian column
by Giovanina Bucci
Obviously, posting recipes requires cooking and it SHOULD require eating, but alas, I am here on the penultimate day of the Master Cleanse, salivating instead. And to top things off, I planned our Thanksgiving menu this week - what the hell was I thinking?! Clearly, I wasn't. But enough about the silly predicaments I put myself into and onto the Cream of Celery soup that filled Beau's belly for a few a days.
We're big fans of celery in our house; we use it for dipping in all kinds of goodies, most often homemade hummus and peanut butter. (Because celery and peanut butter make me feel like I'm nine again, which is a good thing with a birthday around the corner). Every time either one of us goes to the grocery store, we come home with celery, unknowing whether or not we actually need it. As a result, the moment was bound to arrive whereby celery was literally leaking out of every crevice in our refrigerator. I took all of the "not quite firm enough to dip anymore" celery and went to town, and produced a pleasingly, creamy, perfect-for-a-November-day, soup. And so it goes...
Serving Size: 4 bowls, 6 or so cups (I actually have no idea, this is an estimate)
3 heaping Tbs. Earth Balance Butter
1 medium sized yellow onion (diced)
4-5 large stalks celery (diced)
3 small red potatoes (diced)
1-2 Tbs. Bragg's Liquid Aminos
3 c. (or more, depending on the consistency you enjoy) Rice Milk (or other milk product, you could even do half Veg. broth here)
3-4 Tbs. Tofutti Sour Supreme
1-2 Tbs. Tofutti Cream Cheese
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. onion powder
dash of white pepper
dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
garnish with spring onion (if you're feeling spunky)
Saute the white onion in the butter and Bragg's on medium high heat until the onion is translucent, or better yet, until the onion is caramelized. Then add the diced potatoes, let them saute for about five minutes, so they begin to get a bit tender. Don't hesitate to add some milk at this point, if it seems like your pan needs some moisture. Finally, add the celery and about 1/2 c. of milk and let all three veggies tenderize for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
At this point, turn the heat down to medium low, add the rest of your milk, sour cream, and cream cheese. (If you're a vegetarian, you can use heavy cream for this recipe and nix the sour cream and cream cheese. Personally, I use sour cream and cream cheese as thickening agents in vegan soups, not to mention they do add a nice punch of flavor.) To top things off, add the celery seed, onion powder and white pepper and let the soup simmer for 20-25 minutes.
Finally, puree the soup to give it a thick and hearty consistency. After I've done this, I usually let the soup simmer on low heat for about 5 more minutes. Add those red pepper flakes if you're into a bit of heat and give it a taste test. I tend to go big on herbs and spices, more often than not, I find myself adding a touch more of this and a tad more of that. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, thinly sliced celery (1" in length) and chopped green onion. Then pour yourself a nice glass of red wine, bundle up with a blanket, and enjoy a perfect, cozy November day.