The classic warm bowl of soup, true comfort food, does wonders to uplift your spirits on a cold day, or at the end of a long demanding day, and it can feel like a warm hug from the inside-out - it does for me, I'm addicted to soups and this creamy celery soup is the perfect prescription after my long 14+ hour days!
I love the aroma of basil and lovage, I find any excuse to add them to my recipes - especially since we have both growing fresh all year just outside our door in our Cooking Institute herb garden. Basil and lovage help turn a plain bowl of soup into a taste explosion! This creamy celery soup is easy, healthy and with a rich depth of satisfying flavors.
*I replaced the usual conventional potatoes (a nightshade) with cream cheese to make this a creamy celery soup. You can also use sour cream if you choose but it won't be quite as thick and creamy. Once blended, the soup has a rich and creamy consistency that you'll never believe, no nightshade root vegetable was used to achieve the thick creamy texture. If you used heavy cream in place of the cream cheese the flavor would be delicious, but the soup would not be as thick; however, if you wanted a thinner soup, you might enjoy it. To make it vegan use almond or coconut milk and consider thickening it with tapioca flour.
A quick glance at some of the health-enhancing benefits of basil:
- Powerful antioxidant
- Is an anti-inflammatory herb
- Is reported to possibly help fight cancer
- Contains natural antibacterial properties
- Acts as a natural adaptogen
Health Benefits of Lovage:
- Anti-Inflammatory esp. from disorders like gout, arthritis/fibromyalgia and hemorrhoids
Lovage is a plant - the root and underground stem (rhizome) are used in many formulas to make natural medicine. Lovage is used as "irrigation therapy" for pain and swelling (inflammation) of the lower urinary tract, for prevention of kidney stones, and to increase the flow of urine when urinary tract infections or fluid retention is present.
- 1 TB butter, unsalted
- 3 cups celery
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 TB basil, fresh finely chopped
- 3-4 TB lovage herb, fresh finely chopped
- 8-10 oz cream cheese*
- 1 cup vegetable stock or chicken stock (I prefer chicken stock)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Chop celery stalks into pieces
- Heat a large saucepan, and melt the butter
- Add in the diced celery, onion and garlic and sauté for about 4 minutes until slightly softened
- Add the vegetable stock and bring the soup to the boil
- Reduce heat to a simmer and add the cream cheese, basil and lovage - stir until the cream cheese has melted
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
- Remove from the heat and blend until smooth (use emersion blender or place in standard blender).
Dr. Gloria's Kitchen Notes:
This soup is excellent for a slow-cooker, after instructions for preparation are completed, place in slow-cooker for up to 8 hours on low.
If you don't have the herb lovage available, use a bit more celery. Consider potting some lovage in a sunny kitchen window or in your garden - it's super easy to grow, has a tantalizing aroma, beautiful green leaves and you see some of its many health benefits listed above.