One woman's foray into cooking for herself, for her family, and for her friends. It's not always picture-perfect, sometimes a little messy, but it's always delicious. Join me in exploring new recipes, savoring the "résultats" and learning from the "erreurs".
I've finally begun to realize that soup can be an easy thing. It doesn't always mean caramelizing or roasting vegetables long and slowly or simmering away for hours on the stove. It can mean a quick saute, a little simmering, a little pureeing, and then voila - good eats. Monique, of La Table de Nana fame, has been a wonderful teacher in this regards. All the recipes she shares are wonderful. Many are great yet uncomplicated recipes with huge flavor. And the recipe for Potato & Celery Soup is no exception. I'd never had a celery soup before, but her (always) beautiful photos took me in. And so I tried it.
More and more, I'm allowing myself to cook with what is on hand instead of having to run to the store for every ingredient, so I made a couple of substitutions. With no onions on hand (an unbelievable oversight on my part), I did happen to have two generously-sized shallots. Additionally, I normally would have used a russet potato in the soup, but alas, no russets on hand, so I used 2 smallish red potatoes, leaving their skin on. The vegetables sauteed and simmered away in the water called for in the recipe until nice and tender. After pureeing, the soup needed just a little more liquid for thinning out. Since I had an opened bottle of white wine, that's what I added to the soup. It was wonderful!
Now, I have no doubt, none whatsoever, that the recipe made as written was delicious. So, if you have all the ingredients on hand, by all means, try it that way. But don't be intimidated by the need for substitutions. You never know what culinary concoction you come up with!!
Thank you, once again, Monique!
Potato & Celery Soup (Serves 1 generously)
2 sticks celery, cut into small chunks
1 small yellow onion, diced (I used 2 large shallots)
1 floury potato, cut into small chunks
1 cup water (I used about 1-1/2 cups of water)
1/2 to 1 cup stock (I used about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of white wine)
Knob of butter
About 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese (optional)
In a saucepan, heat up a knob of butter. Fry onions until they begin to sweat. Add in celery and potato and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour in water and allow to simmer over a low-medium flame until the vegetables have cooked through and softened. The water would have been reduced considerably. Use a hand held-blender to mash everything into a smooth puree.
(If you do not have a hand-held blender, use a traditional blender (turn off the fire when you do this, obviously). Be careful, as the lids of blenders can get blown off by the hot steam. After you get a smooth puree, return it to the saucepan, on a low flame.
Add stock according to how thick or thinned out you want your soup to be. I added slightly less than 1 cup.
Add 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese. This imparts a nice salty flavour. :) I did not need to add salt at all.
Top with croutons, or plain toasted bread. Sprinkle parsley before serving.
*I made croutons from leftover challah bread: Cut into cubes, toss with a little olive oil, then bake in a 400 F. oven for about 10 - 15 minutes, until croutons are golden, turning a couple of times during the cooking.