Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Irish Celery and Apple Soup
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Margaret Johnson is an Irish-American writer who is a recognized authority on Irish food and drink. This passionate cook holds dual citizenship in the US and Ireland and has authored five cookbooks that explore the customs and cuisine of the Emerald Isle. Today's recipe, an adaption of an old Irish favorite, is her creation, and color alone makes it worthy of consideration for a St. Patrick's Day celebration. Fortunately, it has more than color going for it. If you enjoy the taste of celery, you will love this uniquely flavored soup that is made more interesting with help from apples that add a slightly sour aspect to the soup. The combination works well, and while I can't recommend serving this in large portions, it makes an ideal first course. I served it last weekend with an Italian-type meal that included Arista and I was really pleased at the way all the flavors came together. This is a fast, easy and inexpensive soup that is also mercifully low in calories. It can be made well-ahead of serving, though its color darkens slightly as it sits. I know those of you who are adventuresome will enjoy this palate brightener. Here's the recipe for this truly simple starter.
Irish Celery and Apple Soup...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Margaret Johnson
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch celery, chopped
5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
6 cups homemade chicken stock, or canned low-salt chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup light cream or half-and-half
2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1) Melt butter in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add celery and apples and cook another 5 minutes. Add stock or broth, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 10 to15 minutes.
2) Transfer solids to a blender or processor and working in batches, process until smooth (I used an immersion blender for this task). Return to same saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Whisk in cream. Heat through over low heat. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with parsley. Yield: 10 to 12 one cup servings.
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