Only 10 calories in one stalk…of celery that is. I can’t help but associate celery with dieting, after 7 years of working for the Weight Watchers organization. Although celery is not one of the most popular vegetables, it actually aids in digestion and reduces inflammation. The slow simmer of the celery, onions and leeks make this soup a winter winner. It’s warm and comforting, with a drizzle of olive oil and some crispy bits of bacon.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 medium leeks, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 large celery ribs (2 lbs), trimmed and thinly sliced
- 4 ounces bacon, finely diced
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream (optional)
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Splash of vinegar or fresh lemon juice
In a large saucepan (or Le Crueset) over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks, onions, garlic and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring often until vegetables are softened but not browned, about 10-12 minutes. Add the celery and cook, stirring until they start to soften, about 3 minutes. Add 8 cups of water and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 35 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and let it drain.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth (or use an immersion blender). Return the soup to the pan, whisk in the creme fraiche (if desired) and season with salt and pepper. Serve the soup hot, topped with the bacon bits. I usually add a tablespoon of vinegar (champagne vinegar for this soup) or lemon juice to soups to brighten the flavors. The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Serves 8
Source: Food and Wine Magazine