2cupsvery finely chopped good quality flavorful celery(about 5 large ribs, organic recommended for optimal flavor).
1large clove garlic,minced
1/3cupall-purpose unbleached flour
1 1/2cupsgood quality chicken broth
1 1/2cupswhole milk(or use 3/4 cup milk and 3/4 cup cream for even tastier results)
1/8teaspoonfreshly ground pepper
Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot over medium-high heat and cook the onions, celery and garlic until soft and translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add the flour and cook for another minute. Add the chicken broth and milk/cream and stir until the mixture is smooth. Increase the heat and bring it to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining ingredients, and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Add salt to taste.
If using as a base for other recipes, this soup will keep in the fridge for at least 3-4 days.
One batch of this soup is roughly the equivalent (in quantity) of 2 cans prepared canned condensed cream of celery soup ("prepared" meaning 2 cans of added milk). Enjoy as a stand-alone soup or use in any recipe calling for prepared canned condensed cream of celery soup.