I am a big fan of all vegetables. Well, most of them! There is still the odd one or two I’m not keen on. Globe artichokes is one mainly because they just seem to be a bit too complicated! The other is celery.
One of the biggest things that annoys me is I think I should really like it! Celery is an amazing vegetable that provides an array of fabulous nutrients as well as fibre and water. Lots of water! In fact, celery is probably one of the most hydrating vegetables you can find as it’s made up of 97% water.
These nutrients range from vitamins like vitamin K and C plus folate as well as minerals like calcium and potassium. There’s also some fabulous fibre (which is one of the things I’m not keen on – the stringy bits) and some powerful phytonutrients that are thought to have strong anti-oxidant effects (and therefore health benefits).
Because of the high water and fibre content, raw celery has always been popular with dieters. I remember reading a random ‘fact’ one day that you burn up more calories with the physical exertion of eating celery than you do actually gain from it. Which is not necessarily the most positive reason for eating something – where’s the enjoyment? And that’s really been my issue with celery – the flavour. I’ve never really enjoyed it. It’s always tasted slightly bitter; I’m a sweet lover not a bitter person 😉
Having said that, I do persevere with celery; cooked is fine, it’s raw that’s the challenge. My husband can munch his was through a plateful of raw celery sticks whilst I look on in admiration tinged with a bit of envy mixed with horror.
The one thing that’s made with celery that I really do LOVE is this completely wonderfully delicious celery soup. Something happens to those crunchy, stringy sticks when chopped and simmered with onion, potato and a magic ingredient – celery salt. Once blended together with cashew nuts, it morphs into a beautifully creamy and soul hugging soup that rather oddly reminds me of chicken soup. Without the chicken of course!
This soup is one of my family’s favourites. It’s also one of the most popular in my book Eat Well LIve Well with The Sensitive Foodie. I started to make this for the children when they were quite young (so a long time ago now!) and it’s still one of their favourites now. It can be made nut free if needed – swap the cashews for soaked sunflower seeds or just increase the potato content. The only allergen that can’t be taken out is the celery – sorry about that!
I hope you enjoy this gorgeously creamy soup. Don’t forget to let me know when you’ve made it and what you think.
Creamy celery soup
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 medium potato scrubbed and chopped
- 2 heads celery including leaves
- 75 grams cashew nuts
- 750 ml vegetable stock
- 450 ml dairy free milk of choice
- pinch celery salt
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh chopped parsley to serve (optional)
- Add a couple of tablespoons of water to a large saucepan and place it over a medium heat.
- Add the onion, potato and celery. Pop on the lid and sweat for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time so the veggies don't stick. Add a little more water to the pan if they do.
- Add the cashew nuts and the stock, scrapping up any browned bits from the base of the pan. Pour in half the dairy-free milk and add the celery salt.
- Bring to the boil (be careful as it has a habit of suddenly boiling over if your back is turned!). Reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes or until all the veggies are soft.
- Turn off the heat and blend to smooth with a stick blender. Add more dairy-free milk as need to get the consistency you want (I like mine super thick!). Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve with a garnish of fresh chopped parsley if desired.