For the Love of Celery! Soup
Apium graveolens, commonly known as celery has been used in French, English, Italian, Greek and Mediterranean cuisines. It was grown as a vegetable for winter and early spring and used as a tonic that balances the contracting, salty diet of winter. Celery’s cooling thermal nature and sweet-bitter flavor benefits the stomach, spleen and pancreas and calms an aggravated liver. Celery also dries damp excess and reduces wind; cooling an overheated liver and making it beneficial in the treatment of inflammations. High in silicon it renews joints, bones, arteries, and all connective tissue.
What good is making a warm nourishing soup if there isn’t enough to go around? This recipe makes a generous 4 quarts of soup; enough to share with family and friends, and to freeze for future use. Combine with a hearty loaf of home baked or artisan bread and feel warmed and at ease. Add a glass of wine and you may find yourself remembering an earlier time when folks gathered in local taverns on the Southern colonial frontier to exchange ideas and decide the fate of our future.
2 onions, chopped 4 cloves garlic 4 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons olive oil ½ teaspoon celery seed ½ teaspoon caraway seed ½ teaspoon dried thyme or 1/4 tsp dried ground ¼ teaspoon nutmeg 2 quarts good stock, chicken or veggie broth 2 medium potatoes, cubed 1 bunch celery, chopped ½ head green savory cabbage, chopped ½ cup parsley, chopped 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt ½ teaspoon black pepper ½ cup heavy cream (omit the cream in the summer for a lighter soup.)
In a large soup pot, sauté onion and garlic in oil and butter for a couple of minutes then add spices and sauté until soft. Add broth and bring to a boil. Stir in potatoes, celery and cabbage. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add parsley and simmer 10 minutes longer. Puree soup mixture, reheat and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Add cream, warm through and serve. Serves 12 people.