Cream of Celery Soup with Cannellini Beans.

Why is it that we can’t buy celery sticks individually? So many recipes ask for one or two sticks, but the only way of buying the stuff is to buy a whole plant and then work out what to do with the remaining seven or eight sticks. I remember my parent’s having dinner parties in the late seventies, serving celery sticks stuffed with cream cheese. Cool, crunchy and full of those horrible stringy bits.

Rather than a simple creamy soup I thought I’d add the beans to add some texture and interest. it wored well and just the thing to warm you up on a snowy February weekend.

This makes about 4 bowls
Knob of butter
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion – chopped
1 teaspoon dried or fresh thyme
2 3- small potatoes – peeled and diced
1 head of celery – remove the leafy parts and roughly chop the rest
Vegetable stock
100 ml single cream
1x 400g tin cannellini beans – drained
Salt and black pepper to taste

Heat the oil and butter in a large pan. Add the onion and fry gently until starting to soften. Add the thyme, celery and potato and fry for a minute or two, stirring to make sure everything is nicely coated in the oil and butter.

Add enough stock to just cover the vegetables. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes until everything is soft.

Blend until smooth then sieve to remove the stringy bits of the celery.

Put the sieved soup back in the pan, add the cream and beans then heat slowly. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Serve hot.

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