Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Campbells Are Coming, Oho, Oho!

First of all, I didn't know you could grow celery at home. Just never thought about it.
Second of all, it never occurred to me that you might try making celery soup at home.
Why would anyone make celery soup? Campbell's sludgy sodium soup?
BUT! One day a couple of months ago, Cranky brought home a tiny six-pack of celery seedlings. And they are flourishing. I'm still amazed.
They're not some special yuppie-colored variant of celery. No special configuration. Just basic, green celery.
And... Until you've had home-grown (or, OK, farmers market-grown) celery, you'll never know why this homely specimen has much value at all.
It's rich with earthy, mineraly flavors. Green! Deep!
Remember the best home-grown potato you ever tasted? Like that.
Good enough to use for soup.
Abbreviated recipe: Chop celery and a little bit of onion. Thaw turkey stock. Cook vegetables in stock with tarragon and thyme. Salt to taste. Make a small amount of white sauce. Stir in as much cream as your doctor will allow. Mix into the celery messins', and use your immersion blender to get a good, mushy stew.
Footnote: When I was a kid, I thought the Scottish song was about camels, not Campbells.


Dagny said...

Soup is in the air... (I am singing this to the tune of John Paul Jones' "Love Is in the Air.")

And Campbell's? It's been so long since I have had a can of Campbell's that I cannot remember the last one.

Moonbear said...

I thought growing celery was the domain of Findhorn Garden, or some crazy monks living somewhere else. You grow celery? I am so impressed. Oaktown Farm is not up to that level yet, tho I don't have a hubby who gardens...
I have loved celery soup, even by Campbell's. I bet yours was way better.

Ilva said...

My neighbours always grow it and give it to me, a stick is enough to give a lot of flavour! It's really an incredible difference from the one you usually get it shops! Lucky you!

Anonymous said...

Earthy? Does it taste like beets by any chance?

Beccy said...

Sounds and looks delicious much nicer than Campbells!

Katie Zeller said...

I love celery.... I want to try this!
When we lived in Andorra the Spanish women used to complain that they couldn't get decent celery at the shops - it was all green. I finally realized that they liked white...grown in the dark? Wimpy taste, in my opinion (I tried it of course)

peter said...

We grow celery and celery root. It's an essential component of many soups and sauces, and homegrown has a richness that pallid supermarket stalks can only dream about. I've got some going right now in a chicken-garden stew sort of thing. The leaves are a wonderful herb, garnish, and addition to a salad. The root is super creamy in puréed winter soups.

PS I'm totally making lettuce soup tomorrow...

cookiecrumb said...

Dagny: I am the soup queen.
And Campbell's? I always have a can of chicken noodle in the house for when I'm sick and can't bear to cook (or eat).

Moonbear: I wouldn't even have tried growing celery (much less thought of it) if Cranky hadn't happened upon these plants. It's easy!!
And the soup... Well, see, Campbell's is my benchmark (come on, anybody ever eaten celery soup that wasn't Campbell's?). So I -- approximated it!

Ilva: Gosh, I hope I can keep these plants growing all through winter. I don't know. We just harvest a few stalks (or sticks) at a time, and the plant still lives. Yay!

KathyF: You are toying with me. It tastes like beets (dirt, minerals, metal), minus the "beetiness," plus chlorophyll.

Beccy: This is just another facet of my Girl Scout nature. I had to try it. And -- I got a merit badge.

Katie: I agree. Same with white asparagus (blasphemy, I know). Good flavor is *good*.

Peter: I was just about to brag about my verdant celery leaves, but as a celery grower yourself, you know exactly what I mean.
However! Oh, sigh... Celery root. J'adore. I hadn't thought about growing that either, and now I will, merci.
(Let us know how the lettuce soup turns out!)

Stacie said...

that sounds delish! I have not tried the homemade celery, but I hear you with the spuds! Man, I didn't know you can improve on the potato, but the ones from my garden are the potato bomb!