I’ve been thinking about Cream of Tomato Soup a lot lately. I haven’t had it in years and the last time was most likely Campbell’s. The occasion for making it came up with a party I was having for my daughter Margot.
She recently became a designer for Keep Collective, a jewelry company. We invited family and friends local to me (she lives in Philadelphia) for a Saturday afternoon, including a light lunch. We had about a dozen acceptances. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to make a lovely ladies’ lunch.
The soup and sandwiches were a big hit. It was a chilly day and everyone was oohing and awing about comfort food. I kept the soup in the crockpot on low to easily fill and refill mugs. No utensils – all finger foods!
We had a great afternoon and everyone stayed a long time. I think they departed around 7pm – always a sign of a good party when guests stay longer than expected!
2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 medium onion, sliced 1 large celery stalk, sliced 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced 2 teaspoons Kosher salt 1 clove garlic, minced ¼ teaspoon cayenne 1 cup dry white wine 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes 1 can (14.5) ounces fire-roasted tomatoes 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste 6 cups vegetable stock or water 1bouquet garni (3 parsley sprigs, 20 thyme sprigs, 2 bay leaves, 6 pepper corns securely wrapped in cheesecloth) 1 cup heavy cream
Melt the butter in a 7-quart Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat.
Once the butter foams, stir in the onion, celery, carrot, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat if the onions are browning.
Stir in the garlic and cayenne and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the wine and bring to a boil, reduce to ¼ cup.
Stir in the crushed tomatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, stock or water and bouquet garni.
Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes.
Remove and discard bouquet garni,
Cool off heat for 15 minutes.
Pour the soup in batches into a blender or food processor, filling the container halfway or less. Cover, remove the top insert to allow for steam to escape, but cover that hole with a folded over towel.
Place into a clean container and continue pureeing until all the soup is smooth. Stir in the heavy cream.
This quick and easy recipe for Celery Root and Leek Soup is velvety smooth and tasty.
Leeks are in the same family as garlic, onions, shallots, and scallions and look like a giant scallion. The root portion is white with the middle a light green then very dark green up to the top. This is a tightly layered vegetable, cut it in half widthwise and it looks like tree rings. These rings hide the sandy dirt in which leeks are grown and a thorough soak and rinse, or two, are necessary.
I didn’t use the dark green tops, which tend to turn a pale soup green. The cooked leek has a subtle flavor and aroma. The flavor of the leek pairs well with the earthy celery root and for a little contrast a chopped up Honeycrisp apple adds nice balance to the soup. Some heavy cream finishes the soup. Save a few celery leaves for a garnish.
Melt the butter over medium heat in a covered 7-quart Dutch oven or large saucepan. Once the butter foams, stir in the leeks, onion, celery, apple, garlic, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and sweat for 5 minutes, stirring once. Lower the heat if the vegetables are browning.
Add in the celery root and water or stock and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat to a gentle boil, cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally. The soup is done when the vegetables are easily crushed against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon, about 30 minutes. The timing on this will vary depending on the size of the vegetables.
Puree the soup in a blender, food processor, or with an immersion blender. Please proceed carefully; the soup is hot. Don’t fill processor or blender to capacity; the soup will overflow from the motion of the blade. See our post on how to blend hot ingredients safely.
Return soup to the pot.
Stir in the cream and adjust seasonings. Soup freezes well.
The celery root and leeks are sweet and the apple provides a little tartness. Apples and celery go well together, think Waldorf salad. A final dollop of cream rounds out the soup nicely.
Prep Time:30 mins
Cook Time:45 minutes
Total Time:1 hour 15 minutes
Yield:2 quarts 1x
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups cleaned and thinly sliced leeks, no dark green
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 pared and thinly sliced apple, such as Honeycrisp
1 teaspoon mince clove of garlic
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
6 cups pared and cubed celery root
4 cups water or stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
Melt the butter over medium heat in a covered 7-quart Dutch oven or large saucepan. Once the butter foams, stir in the leeks, onion, celery, apple, garlic, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and sweat for ten minutes, stirring once.
Add in the celery root and water or stock, bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle boil, cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until vegetables are easily crushed against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon, a least 30 minutes. The timing on this will vary depending on the size of the vegetables.
Puree the soup in a blender, food processor, or with an immersion blender. Please proceed carefully; the soup is hot. Don’t fill processor or blender to capacity; the soup will overflow from the motion of the blade.
Return soup to the pot. Stir in the cream and adjust seasonings.