Creamy celery soup is a delicious and healthy “cream of” soup recipe that uses one whole bunch of celery. It’s easy to make and tastes fancier than the sum of its parts!
This spring I’ve been doing an every-two-weeks produce delivery service that sends an assortment of imperfect but wholly edible fruits and vegetables. I love it!
Three deliveries in a row now I’ve received a bunch of celery. Since we’re not huge ants on a log eaters and most of our soup repertoire (like Italian sausage soup – yum) only uses a rib or two, we’ve developed a backlog of celery.
What to make? There’s only one thing I could think of that would use up a lot at once – celery soup. Normally you think of cream of celery soup, but since my version doesn’t use cream, it didn’t seem right.
So how about a big pot of creamy celery soup?
Reasons to Love This Recipe
- This lightened up celery soup has a satisfying and hearty pureed texture and uses up one whole bunch of celery.
- The “creamy” in the title comes from plain Greek yogurt. It adds a tiny tang that complements the other flavors and doesn’t taste too ‘yogurt-y’ at all, all the while providing a creamy but healthy note.
- This soup is pretty forgiving. It’s fine if you have a bunch of celery missing a rib or two from use in other recipes, you can substitute in white beans for the potatoes, switch up the herbs, etc.
- Celery: One whole bunch is used here. I’ve always considered celery a pretty basic vegetable, but preparing it this way and with these ingredients really make it taste fancier than you might think possible.
- Potatoes: Russets are fine, but I recommend using yellow (Yukon gold) potatoes, if able. They add a nice and creamy base when pureed in soups.
- Yogurt: Plain Greek yogurt is whisked smooth with a portion of the broth before being added to the soup pot to prevent curdling. We do want some fat to help give this creamy soup a little oomph. Low-fat (around 2%) will work, but full-fat/whole milk yogurt (4-5%) is even better. One-half cup is approximately the amount of one single serving cup.
- Bay leaf: This adds a bit of indiscernible background flavor that brings a little something to soup recipes, but can be omitted if you don’t have any on hand.
- Herbs: You can really take these in whatever direction you like. I’ve experimented with a variety of herbs and really like a combination of fresh rosemary and sage – either fresh sage or rubbed sage, which can be found in the dry spice aisle.
- Start by heating butter and olive oil in a pot, then add the onion and give it a head start on sautéing. Season with some of the salt, then add chopped up celery and potatoes. Keep it going for about 10 minutes, adding the garlic during the last minute.
- Once those are golden, pour in a little of the broth and deglaze by scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot and working them into the vegetables. That helps boost the flavor of the soup.
- Add the rest of the broth, some water, and a bay leaf and let everything come to a boil and then simmer for twenty minutes or so, or until the potatoes have softened.
- Remove the bay leaf then blend everything with an immersion blender or by careful transferring batches of soup to a stand blender. Stir in the yogurt/broth (more on this in a second) and herbs, adjust seasonings to taste, then it’s ready to serve.
Preventing Yogurt from Curdling in Soup
Yogurt runs the risk of curdling, becoming grainy, or otherwise unpleasant if it’s added directly into hot soup. To prevent this, reserve a ladle or two of the broth before blending the soup and whisk the yogurt into this small amount of liquid until it’s smooth.
Drizzle this combined broth/yogurt mixture into the soup pot and you shouldn’t have any problems.
- An immersion blender makes blending soups a breeze, though you can always transfer the soup in batches to a regular blender to blend that way. Just be careful and blend in batches, leaving plenty of empty space in the blender so you don’t burn yourself if it splatters out.
- If you’d like to freeze this soup, freeze it without the yogurt, combining it with a little chicken broth and whisking as instructed in the recipe when heating it up to serve. This prevents against the yogurt from separating or becoming grainy after it’s frozen and then reheated.
- Substitution note: On occasions when I’m out of yellow or russet potatoes, I’ve taken to rinsing and draining a 15.5 ounce can of cannellini beans and adding them in place of the potatoes. They provide extra nutrients and blend seamlessly into this soup flavor-wise.
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, I’d love for you to leave a star rating in the recipe card and/or a comment review below!
Creamy Celery Soup
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt divided, or to taste
- 12 ounces yellow potatoes chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 bunch celery chopped into 1-inch segments
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 bay leaf
- 32 oz (4 cups) reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 16 oz (2 cups) water or extra broth
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon finely diced fresh rosemary or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon rubbed sage or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
- Add butter and olive oil to a large soup pot set over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add diced onion and sprinkle over top ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Saute for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion is softening and becoming golden.
- Add the celery and potatoes and season with remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Saute for 8-9 minutes, then add minced garlic. Saute for 1 additional minute.
- Pour in a little bit of the chicken broth to deglaze the pan and scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom. Add the rest of the chicken broth, the water, and the bay leaf and raise heat to bring everything to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes have softened.
- Once the potatoes have softened, remove the bay leaf and take the pot off the heat. Ladle out some of the liquid and add it to a bowl. Set this aside for now.
- Puree the soup with an immersion blender, or very carefully transfer the hot soup to a blender to puree until smooth. This may need to be done in batches as to ensure there's enough room to prevent the hot soup from spraying out.
- Once pureed, set the soup back on the stovetop over low heat. Now add yogurt to the small bowl of portioned-out broth and whisk well, until smooth and combined.
- Whisk the yogurt/broth mixture into the saucepan of soup. Stir in rosemary, rubbed sage, pepper, and/or whatever herbs and seasonings you like, then serve.
- If intending to freeze this soup, consider not adding the yogurt before doing so to prevent any texture weirdness/grainy separation. Then whisk the yogurt with some chicken broth and add it to the soup when reheating.
- Please don’t overfill your stand blender if blending the soup that way. It’ll be very hot and will splatter up when it starts. Leave sufficient empty space and blend the soup in batches.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.
Base recipe loosely adapted from Food Network