Cream of Celery Soup

One of my clearest, fondest, warmest memories of childhood is of being sick. Strange, you might say, that being sick would even grave the list of happy times, but I was treated like a nine-year-old queen, a special angle. What I remember most vividly is my mother, in red lipstick and a Pucci-like dress, high heels clicking down the hallway, bringing me breakfast in bed and later, lunch in bed: Campbell’s Cream of Celery soup and Saltines, with Glamour and Seventeen magazines and a box of Colorforms. I didn’t eat the Saltines, because I’m not a dunker, but I knew she was making the effort. She worked and, because I was sick, she stayed home to care for me.

While I have outgrown almost everything else, I still think of Cream of Celery as comforting and healing.

Cream of Celery Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 7 cups
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, coarsely chopped
  • 6 scallions, including greens, thinly sliced, plus additional, for garnish
  • 1 bunch celery, including heart and leaves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable
  • 1 large Idaho potato, unpeeled, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup heavy or light cream
  • Crumbled blue cheese, for garnish (optional)
  1. Place a heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium heat and, when it is hot, add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the shallot, scallions and celery and cook until tender and lightly colored, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Add the stock, potato and rosemary, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low and simmer until the celery and potato are tender, about 25 minutes
  3. Remove the solids and place in a food processor or blender. Process until completely smooth, gradually adding the cooking liquid, nutmeg, and cream. Transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate up to the three days, or serve immediately, garnished with scallions and blue cheese, if desired