Celery soup

OK, you must have noticed that I have not been posting very often lately. But I have a very good reason.

JB and I started an adoption process a little over two years ago and we were recently blessed with the arrival of our son: an eight month old little boy named Olivier. So between baby purées and take out pizza, I was able to cook a bit and take a few pictures of real food that I made recently. I am slowly adapting to my new life as a daddy and I am getting better at time management. I hope I will be back on track and post at least twice a week but please be patient and bear with me!

Last Saturday morning, during his nap, I was able to make my favorite fall/winter soup from southern Italy: celery soup in a light beef broth. Try to use dark celery ribs (as opposed to what you see in the picture). The color of this soup is not quite appetizing and lingers between dark green and greyish-brown, but I assure you, it is very good. Enjoy!


1 head celery
2 liters (8 cups) water
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
350 g lean beef, finely chopped or lean ground beef
3 tablespoons flour
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon vegetable bouillon powder (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Pecorino romano cheese, for serving


1. Start by making the celery broth: cut the celery into 2 inch/5 cm lengths and wash thoroughly. Bring the water to a boil, add a bit of salt and cook the celery for 10 minutes. Take the celery out of the water, put in a bowl and reserve. Reserve the cooking water as well.
2. Heat the oil over medium heat and cook the onion and carrot until soft, 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.
3. Add the meat and cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is brown, maybe 10 minutes. Add the flour and stir constantly for one minute.
4. Add the reserved  cooking water, the bay leaf and the vegetable bouillon (if using), salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
5. During that time, cut the celery into bite size pieces. I cut mine into 1 inch/2.5 cm sticks but do as you wish. Add the celery to the soup and cook for another 15 minutes.
6. Adjust seasonings and serve immediately with Pecorino Romano cheese and a bit of extra-virgin olive oil.

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