Red Celery Soup | Recipe | Friday Night Lent Dinner

I was at the market yesterday and came across some red celery.  This is a fairly new variety of celery that only hit US markets in October 2010.  It looks like rhubarb, but tastes like a milder celery.

It was another chilly night, perfect for soup.  This soup has a wonderfully fresh flavor with a slight kick.  The Asian apple pear lends a delicate sweetness.  Overall, this is a healthy, flavorful soup.  It has a medium consistency, not think, but not thin.  If you want a thick soup, add one peeled and chopped potato in the pot at the same time as the celery.

If you can't find red celery, regular celery should work just fine.

Red Celery Soup Recipe
Yields: 6-8 servings

1 head of red celery, chopped, leaves reserved
2 Tbsp butter
1 large yellow onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Asian apple pear, cored, peeled and chopped
1/4 tsp salt
dash of cayenne
5 c low-sodium chicken broth

1. In a medium pot over High heat, bring chicken broth to a boil.
2. In the meantime, melt butter in a large pot over Medium heat.  When butter is foamy, add onion and cook until tender and translucent, about 3 minutes.  Incorporate garlic, salt and cayenne; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally.  Add Asian apple pear and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.  Add celery and stir well to combine; cook 5 minutes.
3. Add chicken broth to celery mixture and return to a boil; cook 20 minutes or until celery is tender.
4. Using an immersion blender or in batches, a regular blender, puree until smooth.  If using a regular blender, remove clear center plastic cap of lid and cover hole loosely with a towel. This will allow hot steam to escape while blending.
5. Divide soup amongst bowls and garnish with celery leaves.