Friday, February 20, 2015

Celery Soup with Cornbread Croutons

I love soup.  I especially love soup when the windchill hits -20F and below...I also love celery, the much maligned veg that it is.  Add that together with my somewhat insane commitment to trying to use up all of the food in my house before it spoils (therefore making the most of my Costco membership, potager, etc.) and creating as little waste as we can, and this soup came out.  It tastes exactly like celery, so of course, I love it.

For the record, my list of #useitallup for this recipe was celery, buttermilk, and cornbread.

1 large bunch of celery, cleaned of dirt and any soft spots, chopped into 1/2" pieces
1 large onion, diced
1 tsp fermented garlic paste (or 1 tsp minced garlic)
1/2 tsp celery seed
kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper
2-3 T. olive oil
1 c. buttermilk, well shaken
3 T. heavy cream

Combine celery through olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat, adjusting salt and pepper to taste.  Saute over medium heat until the veg starts to brown just a bit.

Stir in 3 c. water and continue cooking over medium heat for about 8 minutes.

Remove from heat and puree.  (I used an immersion blender, but you can also use any blender you wish.)

Return to the pan (if necessary), and stir in buttermilk.  Bring soup up to temperature, and puree again if you aren't satisfied with the consistency.

Remove from heat again and stir in cream.  Top with croutons.

Cornbread Croutons

Start with a really tasty cornbread recipe.  I like no-sugar-added cornbread, but you can use whatever you like.  Cut 12 1" cubes out of the cornbread and allow to dry on the counter if the cornbread is fresh.  The goal here is to have stale cornbread cubes.  You can also dry them out in a low oven, around 300F for a few minutes if you wish.

Melt 2 T. butter in a saute pan and then add the cornbread cubes.  Toss and turn, so that all sides are coated in butter.

Saute until golden brown, flip over, and repeat.

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