Celery Soup

The first time I had celery soup was at the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. We were seated in a ballroom surrounded by one of the world’s largest collections of Rococo art. While the music played and people schmoozed, a handsome attendant dressed in 18th century attire stepped onto the dining room floor and pounded his 6 ft. staff three times. The orchestra stopped. The room fell silent. In a deep Austrian voice that filled the entire ballroom, he bellowed “CELERY SOUP!” with such authority I knew it had to be the finest soup in the world!

Fast forward many years I now realize that celery soup is made with a few of the simplest, and cheapest of ingredients: Celery, onion and potatoes. But whenever I make it I always treat it like it’s the finest soup in the world.

How often do you get an elegant soup recipe that has only 7 ingredients? And the fact that the 3 vegetables needed are super sailboat-friendly. The celery can last for weeks in the icebox and the potatoes and onions can be hung in your food hammock. Some people add milk or cream to this soup which gives it an added richness. I usually avoid that for the lactose-free crew we sometimes have on board. The potatoes give it all the thickness it really needs.

Celery Soup

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1 whole head of celery (reserve leaves for garnish), chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 large or two medium golden potatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons Herbs of Provence
2 teaspoons white pepper
4 cups+ chicken broth (can be made with Better than Bouillon)

Sauté the chopped celery, onion and potato in butter until onion and celery soften. Add herbs and broth. Simmer until potatoes are done, about 15 minutes.

Puree the vegetables and broth. If you have available shore power, using an emulsifier is the quickest and easiest way to do this. If not, a hand cranked food processor (if you want to get out extra equipment) or even a hand potato masher can do the trick. It doesn’t have to be completely smooth, it can be a little chunky. The flavor will still be there. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Add cream if you’d like it richer.

Ladle the soup into the nicest soup bowls you have on board. Garnish with reserved celery leave and serve your guests the finest soup in the world!


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