Creamy celery soup is a favorite Irish starter for Christmas dinner menus. This version is creamy, savory, and simply delicious. It's perfect for lunch or hearty enough for dinner.
A classic dish, this soup is an Irish favorite and is enjoyed all over the British Isles. Celery adds a slighly peppery and punchy flavor to this soup, but above all it tastes fresh and satisfying.
Celery soup is a creamy, healthy, and elegantly green soup. Boasting a delicate celery flavor and fresh ingredients, it's a classic comfort food that's gluten free too.
Table of Contents for Celery Soup
Celery As the Star Ingredient in Soup
Celery usually plays a supporting role in the flavor profile of most soups, but today it's the star of the show.
Easily made in advance, this soup will keep well for 3-4 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer. It's ideal for this busy time of year when you have a long to-do list and just need to get stuff done.
Mild in flavor, you can spice this soup up by adding some chili flakes or hot sauce. Though the soup is vegetarian as it uses vegetable broth, if you've got chicken broth on hand, go ahead and use it instead if you aren't concerned about keeping the soup vegetarian.
If you are hankering to get the soup on the table as soon as possible, dice the vegetables into small pieces so they cook up quickly. Feel free to add other vegetables that are sitting in your fridge; zucchini or parsnips would go well with the flavor combination of this cream of celery soup. Or if you've run out of onions or leeks, feel free to use more of what you've got on hand.
Thickened with a potato rather than flour, this soup is gluten-free. However, I do use real cream to add the distinctive smooth texture, so this homemade cream of celery soup recipe is not vegan.
Here's what cream of celery soup is made with. You'll find exact quantities in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Olive oil - Extra virgin olive oil is a good option, but any oil will work.
Butter - Salted or unsalted butter.
Celery - Divide, wash, and chop the celery stalks into small pieces. Celery is an amazing vegetable with many health benefits. It plays a role in decreasing inflammation, controlling cholesterol levels and blood pressure, plus it is packed with beneficial antioxidants.
Onion - Yellow or Vidalia onions work well, but any kind of onion is good.
Garlic - Peeled and minced fresh garlic adds a nice amount of flavor to the soup. If you don't have fresh garlic on hand, feel free to substitute garlic powder or onion powder.
Leek - Washed and chopped, using white and light green parts only.
Potato -Washed, peeled, and chopped. Any white potato works, but Russett potatoes are nice and starchy and will add to the creaminess of this soup. This soup does not contain any flour. It is thickened by the starch of the potato instead.
Vegetable broth - Choose a low-sodium broth or use a chicken broth for a non-vegetarian version.
Bay leaves - Dried bay leaves enhance the flavor of the soup. I do not add any other additional fresh herbs, but feel free to experiment with flavors you enjoy. Dill or thyme might be a nice addition.
Salt - Add salt to taste.
Heavy whipping cream - Heavy whipping cream makes the soup rich and creamy. Substitute with half and half for a lightened-up soup. Dollop a few tablespoons on top as garnish. If you prefer a vegan soup recipe, you could use coconut milk to make it dairy free.
Black pepper - Freshly ground for the garnish.
Chives - Freshly chopped for the garnish. Feel free to substitute parsley as your garnish of choice.
Equipment for Cream of Celery Soup Recipe
1 Soup Pot 4 Quart or large Dutch oven.
Sharp Knife to chop vegetables
Directions for Recipe
Heat the oil and melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook covered for 2 minutes.
Add the chopped leeks, celery, and potatoes. Be sure to coat the veggies well in the oil and butter. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes to soften the vegetables.
Shake the pot once or twice during the sweating process to prevent sticking.
Add the minced garlic to the pot and cook for 1 minute more.
Add the vegetable broth and bay leaves to the pot. Taste for salt and add if necessary.
Simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are completely softened. Make sure the soup is only simmering and not cooking with a rolling boil. This is one of my key tips for soup making success.
Remove the soup pot from the heat and allow to cool for 5 or 10 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to blitz and smoothen the soup. If you prefer a little texture you do not need to completely puree the soup. However, I find that celery can be a little stringy, so the smoother the better in my book.
Return the puréed soup to the heat and stir in the cream.
Serve hot. I like to add a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper, a swirl of heavy whipping cream, and chopped fresh chives to garnish.
Storing Cream of Celery Soup
You can keep this cream of celery soup in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. It may separate slightly in the refrigerator, so whisk it together as you reheat the soup in a saucepan over medium to low heat.
This soup can also be frozen. Allow the soup to cool completely first. Place it in a freezer-safe container, leaving a little room at the top for expansion of the frozen soup.
A plastic freezer bag works well, too. Lay the pack flat on a sheet pan to freeze it so it assumes a space-friendly shape for the freezer. You can take the sheet pan out once the soup is solid.
It will last for about 3 months in the freezer. Remove the soup from the freezer and defrost it overnight in the fridge. Once defrosted, it may become separated because of the high cream content. Blend it with a whisk or immersion blender as you reheat it over medium-low heat.
Recipe Card and Video
Here's a short video outlining how to make this soup.
Here's the printable recipe card for your kitchen files.
Cream of Celery Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 bunch celery 1 large or 2 small bunches, divided, washed and chopped into small pieces
- 1 large onion yellow or vidalia, peeled and chopped finely
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 large leek washed and chopped, using white and light green parts only
- 1 medium potato washed, peeled and chopped
- 4 cups vegetable broth use chicken stock for a non-vegetarian version
- 2 bay leaves dried
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground for the garnish
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream for the garnish
- 1 tablespoon chives fresh and chopped for the garnish
- Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium. Add the onions and cook covered for 2 minutes. Add the leeks, celery, and potatoes and coat in the oil and butter. Cover and cook for 10 minutes to soften. Shake the pot once or twice during the sweating process to prevent sticking. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
- Add the vegetable broth and bay leaves to the pot. Taste for salt and add salt if necessary. Simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are completey softened.
- Remove the soup pot from the heat and allow to cool for 5 or 10 minutes. Use an immersion blender to blitz and smoothen the soup.
- Return the puréed soup to the heat and stir in the cream.
- Serve hot with a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper, a swirl of heavy whipping cream and chopped fresh chives to garnish.
Nutrition Information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients used.
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Perfect for the holidays, though satisfying and nourishing any day of the year, this cream of celery soup is comforting and flavorful.
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Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad -Irish American Mom
Pronunciation - slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad - rhymes with parade