Something about this simple cream of celery soup will capture your heart. Basic, yet sophisticated. Simple ingredients and vegan. You can make this soup in less than 30 minutes. No dairy. Just whole, simple ingredients. Cozy up to a bowl.
Secret for the best creamy vegan soup
Time and time again, I have been disappointed by "cream" vegan soups. A vegan cream soup tends to lack flavour and texture. The flavour is always a bit weak - maybe an underlying sweetness that just should not be there. Opaque, but not creamy. Smooth but missing that velvety mouth-feel that only a full-fat dairy cream can accomplish. Just never right. Until now...
I have discovered the secret to a creamy and rich vegan soup that is both good for you and satisfying. The secret is 2 ingredients: cashews and potatoes.
Cashews add fat and creamy fullness
A cream soup needs fat. But adding more oil will not help. Oil - whether coconut or olive oil will just eventually separate itself from the rest of the soup and just sit on top.
Enter the magic of cashews, which puree down to a velvety smoothness, they are a perfect stand-in for heavy cream.
You can soak the cashews separately then add the drained and soaked cashews to the soup as you puree, or
To save time, just throw the cashews into the soup pot with the veggies and they will soften with the veggies. This is totally an appropriate method if you just don't have enough time to plan ahead, and will help get the smoothest texture.
Potatoes add body and substance
Adding just a couple of small potatoes to the soup, literally, a handful of diced potatoes gives the fat from the cashews something to hold on to. The starch from the potatoes helps thicken the soup without making the soup paste-y.
How to make vegan cream of celery soup
This is truly a simple soup. Simply heat a soup pot over medium heat and throw all the vegetables in - celery, a diced onion, garlic and potatoes - along with the vegetable stock, cashews and spices.
Bring to a gentle boil then reduce heat and simmer until the veggies are tender. About 15 minutes.
REMOVE THE BAY LEAVES!
Stir in some fresh parsley. Remove from heat and puree.
I like to puree my soup in a blender. I find I get the creamiest and smoothest texture using a high-speed blender. I use Blendtec. A high-speed blender is definitely an investment, but worth it as it will last a lifetime.
If using a blender, you will need to blend the soup in 2-3 batches. Do not overfill your blender with hot soup! And make sure the blender is vented. Most blender lids have some vents built-in. Place a kitchen towel over the vents of the blender so you don't get splashed by hot soup and to protect yourself from hot escaping steam.
You can also use a hand-held immersion blender or a regular blender.
TIP: If using a hand-held blender or regular blender (not a Vitamix or Blendtec) make sure you slice your celery thinly. The fibrous ribs in celery may not break down as well with a lower-powered blender, so make sure you slice the celery thinly to get a smooth soup. If you are using a high-speed blender, I don't find being this precise is necessary.
Serving and storage
Serve this soup with crunchy baked pita chips, a little fresh parsley or green onions, and a sprinkle of hemp seeds.
As a main dish or lunch serving you will get 4 hearty servings from this recipe. As a starter, the recipe will easily feed 8.
This soup keeps nicely in a covered container and refrigerated for about 4 days. Just reheat portions before serving.
Start to finish this vegan celery soup takes less than 30 minutes. And most of that time is hand-free while the soup simmers. So it's a simple addition to my weekend meal prep routine. While the soup simmers I clean a few other veggies or prep some tofu for baking.
Once made, I store the soup in an air-tight container and refrigerate it for lunches during the week.
For a packed lunch - soup can be reheated in the morning and transferred to a thermos. Add some pita wedges for dunking.
For work from home days - I reheat servings as needed, sprinkle with some hemp seeds and serve with some toast or these crackers.
For busy weeknight dinners - having a batch of this soup in the fridge means dinner is can be ready in minutes. Add a crusty loaf of bread or grilled cheese (vegan or otherwise) for an easy dinner.
Vegan Cream of Celery Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 head of celery cleaned and roughly choppped, leaves as well
- 1 small white onion
- 3-4 fat cloves of garlic
- ½ cup cashews
- 2 small potatoes -- about a small fist sized or smaller -- about 1-1-½ cups chops - peeling is optional
- 4 cups stock or water
- healthy pinch of salt
- 2 bay leaves
- pinch of cayenne
- ¼ cup of fresh parsley chopped
- more parsley
- green onion finely sliced
- good olive oil
- hemp seeds
- toasted pita bread chunks
- Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven.
- Rough chop all the vegetables add to pot with stock, add salt and cayenee and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until vegetables are tender 15-20 minutes.
- Transfer soup to a blender along with ¼ cup of lightly chopped fresh parsley. Make sure you remove the bay leaves. Blend soup at high speed until smooth and creamy. You will need to do this in 2 or 3 batches. Please ensure that you vent your blender to allow the steam to escape.
- Taste for seasoning -- add enough salt and pepper. And serve with a drizzle of good olive oil, a sprinkle of hemp seeds and toasted pita bread.
My favourite soup pot is an enamelled cast-iron-covered dutch oven. Its a work-horse in my kitchen. I use this pot several times a week, it is virtually non-stick, seals tightly when needed and is just the perfect size for soup making. And just feels substantial when cooking. I use this Cuisinart pot most of the time. It's substantially less expensive than other brands.