About this recipe:Starchy potatoes make a creamy, filling base for this warming soup, while distinctively-flavoured celery adds a tangy bite.
5 celery sticks, chopped, leaves reserved
100g potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 leek, trimmed and sliced
700ml vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
300ml semi-skimmed milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
50g Stilton, crumbled (optional)
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:25min › Ready in:40min
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a low heat. Add the celery, potatoes and leeks and cook gently for 5 minutes.
Pour the stock into the pan and add the bay leaf. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender. Remove the bay leaf.
Cool slightly. Using a draining spoon, lift out the vegetables and put them into a blender or food processor with some of the liquid. Whizz to a purée.
Return the purée to the pan with the rest of the liquid, add the milk and heat gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into warm bowls and grind a little more pepper over the top. Scatter over the chopped celery leaves to garnish and add some crumbled Stilton, if liked.
*Serve with hot garlic and herb bread. Thickly slice a baguette, leaving the slices attached at the base. Hold the slices apart and spread each one thinly with garlic, chive and parsley butter (add chopped herbs and crushed garlic to softened butter). Reshape the loaf, wrap in foil and bake in a moderate oven for 10 minutes. *Some crispy, grilled pieces of bacon would also make a tasty garnish.
I had a glut of celery and potatoes in the veggie patch so I'm cooking this by the gallon and freezing for winter fare. A taste of the summer in December!
Some paprika really gives it a kick too. - 27 Aug 2010